Louisville Magazine

JAN 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/1066550

Contents of this Issue


Page 39 of 92

LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 1.19 37 Pi Maker Entrepreneurial restaurateur Tom Edwards (literally) built MozzaPi, from its walls to its oven to its grandfather clock. And he's only just begun. By Bruce Allar / Photos by Jessica Ebelhar BUSINESS Tom Edwards has his hands in the dough, naturally. If he weren't manipulating water, flour and salt to make his artisan breads and pizzas, he might be in the basement wood shop at home building tables for his Anchorage restaurant, MozzaPi, or drawing up plans for a second location in a rundown structure he plans to renovate himself. "His hands have to be as active as his mind," his wife Lisa says. "He doesn't sit well." Edwards is standing at a stainless-steel prep table inside MozzaPi, with a 50-pound elastic glob of dough in front of him. It's his own blend of organic soft-white wheat milled in-house and Italian-import 00 flour, which all certified Neapolitan-style pizza makers must use exclusively in their crusts. With a small plastic divider in his right hand, Edwards makes two quick chops and separates a small chunk before plopping it onto a scale, then glances at its weight and either plucks away a few ounces or adds a few more. He rounds eight-ounce portions into balls and slaps them onto a large baking sheet, to be refrigerated overnight for the next day's pizza crusts. In the end, Edwards will have 107 dough balls for his Friday lunch customers. MozzaPi is in manifest ways the product of Tom Edwards' hands. Hands that lay brick and build wood-fired ovens. Hands that crafted the 23-foot-tall grandfather clock soaring over the dining room. Hands that mill and mix artisan flours and locally sourced cornmeal. Hands that are not scarred and disjointed, but go through the day looking like they were difficult to clean the night before. e pizzeria and bakery, open since mid- 2017, has become a destination-dining venue, in some ways better known outside Louisville than in. Meanwhile, Edwards is busy developing plans for a second restaurant in Irish Hill at Distillery Commons, which will serve some of the same food but in many ways be as unique as the first. Edwards learned self-sufficiency growing up as the only son of a mother he describes as "very nurturing, intuitive and creative" and an engineer father who was severely disabled and wheelchair-bound after a Cessna plane he was a passenger in stalled out and crashed in Colorado. ey lived in Pendleton County near Falmouth, between Lexington and Cincinnati, on what he calls a "hobby farm" of 16 acres with a cow or two, a few chickens and a garden. e family, including Edwards' three older sisters, experimented with aspects of a working farm but did not rely on them for their livelihood. "After you ring a couple of chickens' necks and cook them up, the novelty wears off," he says. At 48, Edwards is a half-dozen years into a second career that could hardly be predicted by the first. In his 20s and 30s, he was an expert in financial systems and software, running his own consulting firm for a decade and a half prior to the pivot to pizza. He'd fly across the country, helping companies implement software they'd purchased but struggled to incorporate into their existing systems. "A great place to be," Edwards says, "because if it's broke, you get to set the Tom Edwards cutting dough.

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