Pie fight

VEGAS, BABY: Andy Favilla, owner of Favilla’s New York Pizza, will fly to Las Vegas in March to pit his primavera pizza against other pies from around the globe at the International Pizza Challenge. Photo by Nick King

Andy Favilla, who owns Favilla’s New York Pizza in West Asheville, is headed to the 2014 Pizza Expo in Las Vegas in March to compete against contestants from all over the globe in the International Pizza Challenge in March.

Favilla will be one of 60 competitors in the specialty pizza category with his primavera pizza — the same recipe that took top honors in the specialty pizza category in the 2012 Asheville Pizza Showdown. His wife, Jeanette, will also compete, in the two-topping category. “He taught me how to make pizza, so I’m going to listen to him,” she says, adding, “He wants me to go with sausage and onion.”

The two met nine years ago in an Orlando, Fla., pizzeria. “I walked in looking for a job,” remembers Jeanette, “and he was working there.” But she didn’t start making pizzas until a year-and-a-half after they opened their Patton Avenue eatery. “Andy had been working 13 hours a day, every day, since we opened; he was exhausted. I knew he needed relief, so I told him to show me how to make pizzas. He thought I was joking.” But after making only four for her meticulous husband, Jeanette says, “Andy was amazed. He finally went home.” She’s been working at the restaurant ever since.

Andy began making pizzas at the age of 8. “They had to shoo me out of the shop,” he recalls. “By the time I was 11, I had a paying job at my uncle’s pizza place in New York.”

Like father, like son: 20-year-old Daniel Favilla is working in the family business, running the back of the kitchen. The Favillas also have three younger children, ages 5, 7 and 8.

With business thriving, Favilla’s is looking for a pizza maker with three to five years’ experience. Favilla’s Facebook page advises applicants to just show up at the restaurant for an interview; no phone calls. But what if the perfect candidate is living in New York? “Then they should be smart enough to make that call,” Andy jokes. But Jeanette cautions prospects, “He’s very particular; he won’t take just anybody.”

Favilla’s New York Pizza, 1093A Patton Ave., Asheville 28806; 225-3032; favillasnewyorkpizza.net


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.