Q&A: Dean Bastian, chef/owner, Hard Knox Pizzeria, Knoxville, Tenn.
“I’ve always considered myself a restaurant geek and worked in foodservice during and after college,” Bastian says. He also spent a lot of time making pizza at home, experimenting with dough recipes and different cooking methods. Bastian decided to take his hobby to the next level. He purchased a book about Neapolitan pizza and then constructed a wood-fired oven in his backyard from instructions he found on the Internet so he could test run pizza recipes for friends and family.