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Blue Pan Pizza was featured in Food & Wine’s – How Detroit Style Pizza Took Over America.

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Denver embraced Detroit-style pizza when Blue Pan Pizza debuted in 2015 in West Highland. Chef Jeff “Smoke” Smokevitch and partner Giles Flanagin now run two Blue Pan locations serving rectangular pies built on a traditional base — an airy, crackly crust, Wisconsin brick cheese and a thick, tangy sauce — with toppings that modern customers crave. But you should try all of the styles here: award-winning Italian thin-crust, an even thinner Chicago cracker crust, and big slices of New York-style pizza.

https://www.westword.com/best-denver-restaurants/blue-pan-pizza-6595176

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Blue Pan Pizza is proud to be listed as Colorado’s best pizzeria!

Detroit-style pizza—Blue Pan‘s specialty—is like the cooler younger cousin of New York-style that no one knows about. The trademark is the caramelized crust created by a blend of three different cheeses. And being in Denver, the Mile High City, means you have to try the Mountain Top pie featuring two different types of pepperoni, mushrooms, and fresh oregano. Check out the best-kept secret in every state.

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https://www.rd.com/food/the-best-pizzeria-in-every-state/

 

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3 Pizzerias Where Kids Can Build Their Own Pies

Blue Pan specializes in Detroit-style pizza, distinguishable by a caramelized crust made by sprinkling three cheeses all the way to the crust’s edge. For $8, Blue Pan staff delivers dough, on a little pizza peel, to the table. Kids spread the pizza sauce, sprinkle on the cheese, and add one topping. Each creation is then baked to perfection. Kiddos can build more creations with Legos or color at the table while they wait. Additional pizza toppings are available for $1-$2. Two locations in metro Denver. 

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https://www.coloradoparent.com/denver-pizzerias/

 

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Not too many folks had the pleasure of catching an appearance of Mumford & Sons as they played a four-song acoustic set at Twist & Shout Records (2508 East Colfax Avenue) earlier today, August 16. But Giles Flanagin, co-owner of Blue Pan Pizza, was one of the lucky ones.

That’s because he delivered a stack of pizzas to the Twist & Shout staff just before Mumford & Sons showed up — and then he was invited to stay as the British quartet busted out a few of their fan favorites. So it was really the bandmembers who missed out, since they didn’t get any of Blue Pan’s award-winning Detroit-style pizza.

Still, Flanagin says it’s a moment he’ll always remember, because he’s been a big fan and has seen the band perform live several times, including at Red Rocks. “I don’t really go out to live music anymore because I’m up so early, so this was a real treat,” he explains.

While he was there, Flanagin snapped a photo of the performance and posted it on Facebook, along with this message: “It’s not everyday you deliver some pizza and get to see Mumford and Sons, up close, acoustic….no amps….no mikes…once in a lifetime experience for sure !!!

That’s just about the best tip a pizza delivery driver could hope for.

https://www.westword.com/restaurants/new-denver-restaurants-and-restaurant-closings-for-the-week-of-august-12-2019-11450615

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BEST PIZZERIA IN DENVER !

Ever since Jeff Smokevitch opened his first Blue Pan in West Highland in summer 2015, he’s served up consistently good pizzas, whether you go for the Chicago thin crust, classic Italian or cheese-crusted Detroit style, which really put Blue Pan on the local pizza map. Smokevitch opened a second location in Congress Park two years later, and it was another fast hit. As a bonus, kids can make their own pies at Blue Pan, topping them with quality cheese or any of the tasty accoutrements, including natural-casing pepperoni, hand-pinched Italian sausage, fennel, New York ricotta and more. Denver is on a Blue streak.

Read complete article here

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West Highlands and Congress Park

This well-decorated pizza place has all the styles to offer its ravenous patrons. And with two locations, you can get a classic Detroit-style pizza with burnt cheese edges, a Chicago thin crust, an Italian-style pizza, and a NY-style pizza. In fact, many of their pizzas are award-winning combos.

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Detroit-Style Pizza Is Conquering America!

 

From coast to coast, the Motor City’s signature pie is everywhere right now.

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Jeff “Smoke” Smokevitch’s Detroit-style pizza won him first place two years in a row in the International Pizza Challenge. Blue Pan gets their crispy caramelized cheese crust with a blend of brick, white cheddar, and whole milk mozzarella cheeses. (Fun fact: Smoke studied under the legend himself, Tony Gemignani.)

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In part two of his multi-part series on Detroit-style pizza, Jeff Smokevitch takes a look at turning from pizza fanatic to pizza purveyor

Like many new college graduates, I didn’t know what I would do as a career. Life was coming at me fast and my confusion seemed to grow exponentially daily.

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Wanting to push away the realities of impending adulthood, a week after graduating I went to visit a friend in Telluride, Colorado. The visit was scheduled for two weeks, but those two weeks turned into a winter, which has now turned into nearly 20 years and counting.

My first winter in Telluride I worked as a ski boot fitter, a server at a local restaurant and a camp counselor. The love for pizza remained, but even with three jobs I couldn’t afford it.

To make up for my lack of funds and desire to eat pizza, I got a job at the local pizzeria, Pacific Street Pizza. I made approximately $9 an hour, but that was okay because I got free pizza.

Everyone at Pacific Street Pizza knew I loved pizza, but they conspired against me in an effort to not let me actually make pizza.

Following a year of working the grill, fryer and dishwasher, the ultimatum came: “get a real job or move back home.” My parents knew that I was having a blast in Telluride, but they didn’t want me to become stagnant in life.

Within a week of my parent’s ultimatum, one of the owners of Pacific Street Pizza announced that he was leaving. While in the kitchen doing dishes, the other jokingly asked if I would like to join him as a part owner of the restaurant. To his surprise, I said yes.

After becoming an owner, “my staff” finally let me make pizza! Not too many years removed from college, the pizza we made reminded me of the pizza I had during my undergraduate career. It was decent — it was good and fast. However, as owner with equity and skin in the game, I knew this was not going to be good enough.

I began to travel across the country to try different pizzerias, and I was shocked by the high-quality pizzas out there. These taste tests were bittersweet. On one hand, I knew our pizza was not great, which made us vulnerable to being upended by any other person who wanted to make pizza. Yet I was also thrilled by the opportunity to improve our product.

After several months of traveling the country, I began looking for ways to educate myself. Eventually, at International Pizza Expo, I found the International School of Pizza run by Tony Gemignani. Within a week I enrolled. Shortly thereafter I attended the class.

Little did I know at the time, but attending Pizza Expo and Tony’s school would not only transform my restaurant’s pizza, but also my life. For the first time, I learned the nuances of making pizza. I couldn’t wait to return back to my pizzeria and refine our product.

Our pizza quickly got much better and customers began to notice. It was at that moment that I realized that the pizza business is like any other profession: great pizzerias hold on to what is sacred about their products and operations, but they are still not afraid to be leaders in innovation. Educating myself to know what was going on beyond my bubble was the best thing I could have ever done in advancing my pizza journey.

I later returned to the school, this time as an assistant to Tony. As luck would have it, while there for my second time I met two brothers who also grew up in Detroit. These two wanted to make Detroit-style pizza. I had wanted to make this style of pizza for a long time myself, because it reminded me of home. And, quite frankly, I knew that it was missing in the market.

Although I was the teacher’s assistant while they were the students, I learned more from them than I ever taught them. During the initial few weeks of our relationship they, and Tony, helped me develop my recipe and understand the five principles of making great Detroit-style pizza. (Each of the five principles will be discussed in length in part three of this series).

Those five principles are as follows:

1. The pan

2. Hydration of the dough

3. Choice and temperature of the oven

4. Sauce on top

5. Caramelized cheese

I couldn’t wait to get back to my pizzeria and share what I learned and start making Detroit-style pizza.

While this sounded like the best concept I had ever developed, my friends and family thought this was a mistake. First, very few people knew of Detroit-style pizza. Secondly, at that time, the city of Detroit was filing for bankruptcy. My friends and family thought our customers would have negative associations with the style.

Avoiding everyone’s advice, I added it to the menu. That first day was akin to the day when I learned the location of my local neighborhood pizzeria in Detroit — it was like Christmas again. Unfortunately, the day did not end so well: we sold only one pizza.

Needless to say, I was dejected. That night I asked myself so many questions. Were my family and friends right about the name? Why did this fail so horribly? Should we stick with one style of pizza? Eventually, I decided that we needed more time to educate our customers about the style.

In addition to developing a promotional plan, I began taking part in pizza competitions. I figured the competitions would help me hone my pizza-making skills, as well as further advertise Detroit-style to people not as familiar with this pizza type.

In my second International Pizza Challenge at Pizza Expo, nearly six months after I added the Detroit-style pizza to my menu, we won the championship! I finally felt validated for adding that item to the menu. Following that win, our Detroit-style pizza sales rocketed.

I continue to do competitions for fun and to force myself to think continuously about pizza innovation.

When I look back at my journey to Detroit-style pizza, I have learned so many valuable lessons. More importantly, I hope my restaurants can be that pizzeria that inspired the eight-year-old me.

Next month, in the Pizza Expo show issue, I’ll give you details about the five aforementioned Detroit-style pizza principles. Lastly, don’t forget to attend my demo on Detroit-style pizza at International Pizza Expo 2019 in Las Vegas. The demo is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6. 

Jeff Smokevitch co-founded and currently operates Brown Dog Pizza and Blue Pan Pizza in Denver, Colorado.

Read complete article here

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BLUE PAN PIZZA THE 100 BEST DENVER RESTAURANTS OF 2020

  Denver embraced Detroit-style pizza when Blue Pan Pizza debuted in 2015 in West Highland. Chef Jeff “Smoke” Smokevitch and partner Giles Flanagin now run two Blue Pan locations serving rectangular pies built on a traditional base — an airy, crackly crust, Wisconsin brick cheese and a thick, tangy sauce — with toppings that modern […]

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Reader’s Digest’s best Pizzeria in Colorado

Blue Pan Pizza is proud to be listed as Colorado’s best pizzeria! Detroit-style pizza—Blue Pan‘s specialty—is like the cooler younger cousin of New York-style that no one knows about. The trademark is the caramelized crust created by a blend of three different cheeses. And being in Denver, the Mile High City, means you have to […]

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Colorado Parent

3 Pizzerias Where Kids Can Build Their Own Pies Blue Pan specializes in Detroit-style pizza, distinguishable by a caramelized crust made by sprinkling three cheeses all the way to the crust’s edge. For $8, Blue Pan staff delivers dough, on a little pizza peel, to the table. Kids spread the pizza sauce, sprinkle on the […]

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Pies to Mumford & Sons

Not too many folks had the pleasure of catching an appearance of Mumford & Sons as they played a four-song acoustic set at Twist & Shout Records (2508 East Colfax Avenue) earlier today, August 16. But Giles Flanagin, co-owner of Blue Pan Pizza, was one of the lucky ones. That’s because he delivered a stack […]

27
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BEST PIZZERIA IN DENVER

BEST PIZZERIA IN DENVER ! Ever since Jeff Smokevitch opened his first Blue Pan in West Highland in summer 2015, he’s served up consistently good pizzas, whether you go for the Chicago thin crust, classic Italian or cheese-crusted Detroit style, which really put Blue Pan on the local pizza map. Smokevitch opened a second location […]

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TOP 10 PIZZAS IN DENVER

West Highlands and Congress Park This well-decorated pizza place has all the styles to offer its ravenous patrons. And with two locations, you can get a classic Detroit-style pizza with burnt cheese edges, a Chicago thin crust, an Italian-style pizza, and a NY-style pizza. In fact, many of their pizzas are award-winning combos. Read complete […]

06
Mar

Hip to Be Square: Detroit-Style Pizza Is Conquering America

Detroit-Style Pizza Is Conquering America!   From coast to coast, the Motor City’s signature pie is everywhere right now. Jeff “Smoke” Smokevitch’s Detroit-style pizza won him first place two years in a row in the International Pizza Challenge. Blue Pan gets their crispy caramelized cheese crust with a blend of brick, white cheddar, and whole […]

06
Mar

Detroit Style: Pizza as a Career

In part two of his multi-part series on Detroit-style pizza, Jeff Smokevitch takes a look at turning from pizza fanatic to pizza purveyor Like many new college graduates, I didn’t know what I would do as a career. Life was coming at me fast and my confusion seemed to grow exponentially daily. Wanting to push […]

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