In news that sent shock waves throughout the National Restaurant League, United Mozza announced Sunday that Pizzeria sous chef Joe "GQ" Tagorda will be traded to Chi Spacca for their own sous chef, Ryan Vito DeNicola.
Although complete details of the trade were not made public, sources said Spacca would also get two first round 2015 draft choices from the Culinary Institute of America, while Pizzeria Mozza would get a new front door which completely shuts..
Pizzeria Mozza general manager Arielle Chernin said she was delighted to be getting DeNicola. "He's a very nice guy and I say any time an Italian restaurant can get guy who has 'Vito' for middle name, go for it."
Tagorda who worked at the Pizzeria for nearly five years, was excited about the trade. "I'm thrilled to be joining the Chi Spacca team and I know i can make the place more stylish," said Tagorda in his last official oven appearance Sunday evening at the Pizzeria. "The food is great at Spacca. but have you ever seen the way Chad dresses? Not exactly Ralph Lauren."
In his career at Pizzeria Mozza, Tagorda made 2,130 pizzas, burning 145. for a very fine 93% success rating. (In comparison, storied pizzaiola Chris Bianco, of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix has 98.8 % completion rating, highest of all active pizza makers in the National Restaurant League.. On the other end of the spectrum, former cook Sam Schramberg had a 5% completion rating, burning 19 or the 20 pizzas he made as a line cook before moving onto management.)
DeNicola, in his nearly two years at Chi Spacca, grilled for 520 bistecca alla Fiorentina, botching only 26 or them, (95%) and had a very impressive 93.2% satisfaction rating on his tomahawk chop..
Tagorda was unfazed by those numbers. "Yes Ryan is fine cook, but I look better."
Spacca's chef Chad Colby said he would miss his long-time right hand man but was glad to get out of DeNicola's five-year contract, rumored to be $7 million a year, plus incentives. Tagorda will start out making $9 an hour, but could go up to $13.25 by 2017. In addition, Spacca will pay for Tagorda's personal grooming, said to run upwards of $1,500 a day.