Patxi Azpiroz, chef of Patxi's Pizza, on eating fried worms and pesto pizza proposals
Best nugget of advice for a culinary-school graduate: Cook from the soul, and cook with passion.
Weirdest customer request: I once had a customer ask me to write, "Will you marry me?" in pesto on the top of his pizza. I thought it was kind of a strange way to go about proposing, but since I love pizza, I can totally understand the impulse. I put the pesto in a pastry bag and piped it onto the top of the pie. It all worked out for him -- she said yes!
Weirdest thing you've ever put in your mouth: I am 100 percent certain this was influenced by the children's book How to Eat Fried Worms, but as kids, a couple of friends and I tried to see who could actually eat a fried worm. I tried, but I didn't actually swallow the thing. The answer is probably just don't eat fried worms.
What's in the pipeline? We're really excited to be working on a proprietary predictive pizza ordering system. We've been developing it over the last two years and are in the process of testing it out in San Francisco. It should be ready to launch a bit later this year, and it's really exciting. It's going to be a great way for our customers to enjoy our Chicago-style pizza without waiting the 35 to 40 minutes it takes to bake. We're also excited about continuing to expand in the Denver market. We're in the process of scouting new locations right now, and that's always fun. We're also thinking of expanding into Texas in the near future.