A guy who has worked in the industry his whole life, Tim Volikas has probably made thousands of pizzas in his lifetime. He went to college but returned to Pinocchio's Pizzeria that his grandfather took over back in 1965. A friendly, easy going guy who can wax poetically about the perfect saganaki, this interviewee was fun and informative. Don't forget to check out the restaurant review for Pinocchio's and the review geared towards moms.
Name: Tim Volikas
Years in the Industry: All my life...but seriously for the past 10 years.
Earliest Cooking Memory: Baking chocolate chip cookies at home when I was in high school.
First Kitchen Job: Prep cook making dough balls for the shop, pizza maker and cheesesteak maker.
Advice for Home Cooks: Don't follow recipes. My wife tries to follow recipes to a T but she should just improvise. It's better that way.
Favorite Thing to Cook: Grilling chicken and steak.
Favorite Local Restaurant: South Street Souvlaki in Philadelphia, Estia is also good.
Favorite Restaurant in the World: Tru in Chicago
Best Menu Item at Pinocchio's: Small traditional neopolitan pizza.
Healthiest Item at Pinocchio's: Greek salad with our house dressing.
Do you do any work with the local community? Yes, we participate in sidewalk sales and we do tons of work with the schools in the area. We let schools hold events at Pinocchio's and all the proceeds go to the school. PTGs (parent teacher groups) from the middle and elementary schools also do stuff here. We try to give back to the community because they've helped us through the years.
Have you cooked for any celebrities? Wanda Sykes comes in because she lives in Media. Pat Burrell before he was traded, Harry Kalas (RIP) and Casey Boy from WMMR.
Favorite Food Show: Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, although I can only take the host in small doses. No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain and Bizarre Food with Andrew Zimmern.
Guilty Pleasure (food or drink): Chick Fil-A, I love their classic chicken sandwich.
Last Meal on Earth: Philly cheesesteak from Jim's on South Street and a Double Trouble from Founder's Brewing Company.
Biggest Kitchen Disaster: When the restaurant loses power, it's crazy for me. Luckily we haven't had any fires or the ANSEL system go off.