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Daytrippers: A hands-on chance to experience New Haven Pizza

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NEW HAVEN - It is what Colin Caplan calls a "slice of life experience."

Caplan is a sort of Elm City ambassador; he runs the Taste of New Haven Food and Drink Tour and is the driving force behind the Pizza and Pints Bike Tour. Now, he is offering visitors a chance to get their hands dirty.

pizza story 1Caplan is joining forces with various chefs in the New Haven area to offer up the opportunity to learn from the masters -- he calls his new offering "Chef's Cooking Classes." Fittingly, it will be New Haven pizza that people can learn more about and cook themselves.

Caplan has teamed up with Ernie's Pizza on Whalley Avenue to teach guests the tricks of the trade.

Ernie's has been a place of pizza prominence since it opened in 1971. Caplan said, "We are known for pizza around the world and we are going to try making and learning and watching and eating pizza."pizza story 3

Pat Derisi, son of pizza patriarch Ernie, is opening up his kitchen and teaching the class, in which guests can spread the dough and sauce, top their creations and get them in the oven. Derisi, who noted he has probably been the architect of more than 2 million New Haven-style pizzas -- or Apizza -- said, "Within four or five miles of where we are, it's probably pizza heaven."

Caplan added, "We are getting people together, we're learning how to make awesome food and we're having fun doing it."

Chef's Cooking Classes last about 2-3 hours and the cost varies depending on the chef. Caplan will be visiting various restaurants and kitchens in the months to come. To get involved in a Chef's Cooking Class click here.