That’s A Some Pizza owner earns recognition at international competition

Will Grant, owner and operator of That’s A Some Pizza, has made pizza history once again.

Earlier this year, the pizzaiolo (an Italian distinction awarded to culinarians specializing in pizza) made his debut at the World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy, placing third for Americans overall (and the only high-ranked chef from the Pacific Northwest) in the Duo Competition, where he teamed up with Houston, Texas-based pizza master Nicole Bean.

The World Pizza Championships are billed as the “most known international pizza-related event” in the world.

Grant and Bean are co-members of the World Pizza, a multi-national group made up of elite pizza pros, and in the Duo competition Bean made the crust and Grant was responsible for crafting the pizza.

Because of geography, Grant and Bean were at a disadvantage: Most of their competitors, including the American teams that ranked first and second, had been practicing together for months, if not years.

The team made it work with a not-so-secret weapon: Grant’s recipe for his Vegetarian Gorgonzola pizza, which won Best Pizza in the America, Non-Traditional category at the prestigious Caputo Cup in late 2017.

While the team’s pizza received high marks, that wasn’t the only thing the duo was judged on.

“In Italy, the competitions are different,” said Grant. “It’s about what you wear, how clean your workspace is, how you spin the dough. They account for everything; not like in America where it’s just all about the taste of the final product.”

During the World Pizza Championships, Grant also competed in the Pizza on the Paddle competition, where he placed fifth among his American counterparts.

The Pizza on the Paddle competition was good practice for Grant, who is using this cooking style, among others, as he sets to introduce brand-new types of pizza to Kitsap County with the opening of his new restaurant, Sourdough Willy’s Pizzeria in Kingston, later this year.

“I want to bring pizza styles that people haven’t experienced locally — Roman, deep-fried Montanara, among others — using unique, fresh ingredients that are a bit outside the box,” said Grant.

While Sourdough Willy’s will offer the classics, he said there will be more varied options, such as robust vegetable options, truffle honey, and cheese selections for a more adventuresome palette.

Sourdough Willy’s, which will open in the space once occupied by the now-shuttered Drifters Sports Bar & Grill, is bringing back old-school-pizzeria-cool with lots of classic red brick, a full bar, and old world charm in what Grant is describing as “upscale, but family-friendly.”

All of the pizzas at Sourdough Willy’s will feature the over 120-year-old sourdough starter in use at Grant and his family’s original restaurant: That’s A Some Pizza on Bainbridge, which got its own facelift late last summer when it moved from the tiny 500-square-foot space on Winslow Way it had been at since Grant was a teenager to the Coppertop Loop complex.

In all his endeavors, Grant said one mission drives him most: to make the world happier and — believe it or not — healthier through pizza.

“Pizza used to be defined by cheap ingredients and, often, still is; there are certainly a lot of places you can get fast-food pizza,” said Grant. “For pizzaiolos who care about their craft, the idea of pizza has shifted. It’s no coincidence that this is at the same time that people are becoming more aware of where their food comes from. Our goal is the use fresh ingredients bought from local sources melded together in ways that, hopefully, people haven’t experienced before.”

Sourdough Willy’s is expected to open during the Summer of 2019.

That’s A Some Pizza is located at 9720 Coppertop Loop NW, Suite 101.

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