Pizzaiolo Scott Girod started as a busboy for a teppanyaki restaurant before moving on to pizza delivery and cooking.
After taking a two-year hiatus from cooking while living in Japan, Girod took a two-month pizza pilgrimage to Italy. Upon returning to America, he began baking at Classic Italian Pizza in Tempe.
In 2012, Girod joined the family of Chris Bianco restaurants by working at Pane Bianco, Pizzeria Bianco Downtown, and Pizzeria Bianco Town & Country before moving to Tucson to manage Tucson’s Pizzeria Bianco. Once that closed, he didn’t want to start over in Phoenix or wait around — he went to work on Anello, which recently opened and is already catching eyes for its top-notch pizza and stylishly minimalist interior.
1) What was the first dish you had that changed your perspective of food?
I’ve always liked to eat, but never thought too hard about it. My time in Japan helped me start seeing food not only as fuel, but as a place and what’s grown or raised there. It feels like every town has a specialty that’s worth trying. No single dish changed my perspective more than my travels to Italy, Spain, and Japan did and the culture around it in each place. Food is life and life revolves around that food.
2) What are you eating these days?
I’m at the restaurant all day, so mostly pizza or focaccia sandwiches. It’s great when my wife cooks Japanese food at home to get away from all the Italian food and bread I make.
3) What was the first dish you remember cooking?
For an actual group of people. It was at my mother’s for some friends, but all I remember was the whole baked zucchini split down the middle with fresh olive oil, salt and pepper.
4) What concept, ingredient, or food trend are you experimenting with these days?
We use a wood-fired oven and it’s great to burn and char everything. Cooking a singular item like spring onions, beets, or any veggies cooked on coals and ashes is great and typically needs only a little lift of lemon, vinegar, or oil to be amazing. So, wood-fired cooking it seems. It’s so versatile from smoking to long roasting overnight to baking loaves of bread and pizza, of course.
5) Who would you most like to cook or eat dinner with?
Anyone, eh? I wish I could sit and eat with Albert Camus. Not sure if it would be any fun, but it would be great to sit and drink with him for a while and mull things over in silence.
6) What city, other than Tucson, is your favorite place to eat?
That is tough and I am split on San Francisco and Mexico City. I have eaten more in San Francisco and love going to Tartine to have a croissant and coffee and have good memories of eating fresh focaccia in the park from the Italian bakery that is now closed.
7) Speaking in junk food terms, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Donuts, hands down. Give me a dozen from Le Cave’s Bakery. I’ll eat them all.
8) Which three Tucson restaurants do you frequent the most, aside from your own?
9) With a figurative electric chair in your immediate future, what is your last meal?
The biggest bowl of pasta pomodoro. I can eat that every night and be happy. My comfort food.
Catch Scott Girod in Anello at 222 E. 6th St. For more information, visit anello.space.