What are you ... ? with Mike Bausch co-owner of Andolini's
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Thursday, June 21, 2012
6/21/12 at 3:15 AM
You may know Mike Bausch as the co-owner of the Andolini's Pizzeria & Italian Restaurants in Tulsa and Owasso.
And if you have ever seen him tossing dough at the pizzerias, you know he's got skills.
What you may not know, though, is that Bausch is a World Pizza Champion.
He was raised around the classic pizzerias in New York and New Jersey and started his first pizzeria with his brother, Jim Bausch, at the age of 22 - six months after graduating from Saint Mary's College of California.
And although the brothers have two popular pizzerias here, Bausch still competes around the world, showcasing his talent of creating top notch pizza pies.
Bausch recently gave us a sneak peak at their plans for Andolini's and we asked him how he keeps busy when he is not making pizza.
What are you ...
... loving about Tulsa?
So much. I really think this is the renaissance of Tulsa we have right now. All of the downtown construction, how Cherry Street looks today and so many great bands and events. It's a complete and welcome 180 from where we were as a city were just five years ago.
... planning for Andolini's in the near future?
The Andolini's food truck is coming this fall. A fully functioning kitchen and with a real deck oven. We'll make made-from-scratch pizzas, completely fresh to all the nooks and crannies of Tulsa. Salads, garlic knots, and massive 20-inch pizzas sold whole and by the slice. It would be hard for someone to just open a pizza food truck without an existent restaurant to do the proper prep, but lucky for us and Tulsa, we already have two sites. So when we get asked, "When are you coming to Catoosa? When are you opening in Claremore?" We can now say we're coming to all your towns.
... listening to, reading or watching?
I love TV and right now AMC is just phenomenal. "Mad Men," "Walking Dead," "Breaking Bad," I can't get enough. For music I dig that the Beach Boys got everyone back together to make another go of it and they've made a new timeless record. Also "Siamese Dream" by Smashing Pumpkins, I went back and heard it again only to discover a bunch of great tracks I had always glossed over. That album has no bad songs, the whole thing is '90s gold.
As for books, I trade off between business books like "Raving Fans" by Ken Blanchard, to fun books like "My Custom Van" by Michael Ian Black.
... looking forward to this summer?
I think everyone is interested to see what London plans to do to top what the Chinese did at the 2008 Olympic opening ceremonies. Maybe they'll get 1000 British Beefeaters to wax their mustaches in unison, that would do it for me.
... eating besides pizza?
It's hard to eat healthy sometimes. Probably the best burger culture you'll find in America is right here in Tulsa. Besides burgers, definitely El Fogon in Owasso. If you're into good Mexican food and you haven't tried them, than get in your car this second and remedy that. I don't care if it's after hours when you're reading this. Get a sleeping bag and a tent and camp outside of the place.
... planning for vacation or a road trip?
I want to go with my siblings to New York City with my dad for his 70th birthday later this summer. He's awesome. He grew up in 1950s stickball Irish Catholic NYC, and seeing it from his prospective is always a blast.
... topping your pizza with lately?
We've been playing around with a lot of Mediterranean flavors recently. Like a puttanesca style pizza. New pizzas usually take anywhere from seven to 20 taste tests until we feel solid on the combination of flavors. We're at about test number 5.
... doing when you aren't tossing pizza?
I love spending time with my girlfriend Michelle and our 1-year-old rescue dog Louie. We try to guess what he would say if he could talk. We assume it's mostly "Hey, what's on the agenda today guys? A day of running in a circle followed by a nap? Sounds like a plan."
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459
Andolini's Pizzeria owner Mike Bausch throws a disc of pizza dough. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World