Did you eat yet?... with Christian Ziegler managing partner of Perla’s Pizza
Alright, alright, alright.
We’re back with the third installment of our new series, “Did you eat yet? Every Wednesday, I’ll “sit-down” with a local restaurateur, chef, or foodie to talk about how they got their start, their favorite meals in Orlando, and maybe even sneak in a secret recipe or two. Along the way, we’ll also be spotlighting local farmers and grocers or just talking general food news. (Check out last week’s feature on local CSA boxes here.)
Today, we’re talking to Christian Ziegler, managing partner of the fairly new and very popular Perla’s Pizza in Ivanhoe.
Meet Christian Ziegler, Partner at Perla's Pizza, Director of Operations for Fast Casual Concepts at Taglish Collective
Christian, tell us when you knew you'd get into this business. In Montana when I was 18, my first real job was in the restaurant industry. I fell in love with it. I never pictured myself staying in it this long but the allure of the fast-paced environment, hard work, and the camaraderie that comes with this industry has kept me engaged.
How did the restaurant/your business/your role come to be? Some of it has been being in the right place at the right time accompanied by hard work and a willingness to learn. I left the restaurant industry for a year and worked in the mental health field. I lost that job because of layoffs and I reached out to Mike Collantes of Taglish, who I knew through a mutual friend. Two hours later, he said, "that will work" and then sent me an address saying to be there at 9 am and his restaurant was opening the following week. I showed up at a grocery store food court the next day, and we had amazing chemistry in the kitchen and restaurant operations. A year later, I'm here as a partner, making pizza at Perla's. I know I don't know everything so I try to stay hungry, put my head down, and just work.
Your favorite movie star calls and asks to come over for dinner. What're you making/serving? If Michael Cera hits me up for dinner I am definitely making our Part-Time Lover pizza for him.
What is one Orlando food-related news story that you think people need to be paying more attention to? Soseki, they are killing it and bringing something absolutely unique at a high level that is different than anything else in Orlando.
You're moving. What is your "last meal" in Orlando? My last meal in Orlando would definitely be Hunger Street Tacos, they are one of my favorite restaurants. I would try and order one of everything
Your calendar opens up and you get one happy hour with an Orlandoan of your choice. Who's it going to be? Why? And where are you meeting them? I have been sober for a long time but I would definitely take my mom out to the Old Sanford Jailhouse for their Orange Blossom Old Fashion.
How can Pulptown readers best support you right now? Come eat at Perla's Pizza, take a photo, and share it on your social media.
Fill in the blank (specific to your time in Orlando): 100 years from now, I hope I'm remembered for... I'd rather people remember the food from places I worked at rather than remembering who I am.
Find out what Orlando meal beckons Christian the most, how Perla's pivoted during the pandemic, and what Orlandoan he's taking as his date to happy hour (and what they're drinking) by heading to read the full interview here. Oh and p.s., local photographer @iamdavidlawrence is popping up at Perla’s this Saturday and taking Instant Polaroid Portraits from 12-5!
What restaurant, chef, foodie, or farm should we feature next time? Slide into my inbox, firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: Chew on this, Katie.
☮️ Take a mid-week break with a yoga class in the garden (Winter Park)
👟 Lace-up for a run slash scavenger hunt through the downtown bungalows (Lake Eola)
🌈 Join local trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary community leaders for a conversation around the importance and impact of International Transgender Day of Visibility (Downtown)
🔖 Take an art class and learn to make these folding accordion books with artist Catherine Cross (Loch Haven Park)
🎉 Close out Women's History Month with this virtual celebration of sisterhood (Online)
🍻 Venture over to Tuffy's Bottle Shop for a night of shuffleboard fun and Wicked Weed beers (Sanford)
👰 Mix up a cocktail or two and mingle with other locals who work in Orlando's wedding industry (The Milk District)
🎶 Make moves to Lil' Indies to catch a performance by the great Kaleigh Baker COVID-19 safety protocols strictly enforced (Mills 50)
🎶 Jam out with local jazz and funk ensemble, Leisure Chief at this week's outdoor concert at The Plaza Live (Milk District)
🏒 Cheer on the Orlando Solar Bears to a win over the Florida Everblades (Parramore)
🎤 Watch Opera Orlando's performance of "Carmen" in-person at the Dr. Phillips Center (Downtown) - Sponsored
🎬 Hey cinephiles, watch this year's Oscar shorts on the big screen at the Enzian or stream 'em to your living room through April 8 (Maitland/Online)
🎬 Pony up for a night of "Sister Act 1" outdoors on the big screen and some good eats from Jimmy Hulas
🐝 Learn the basics of beekeeping like what goes into maintaining a hive and how to acquire bees (Online)
🏑 Ready your quarenteam and head to the shuffle courts for a good ol' fashioned-game of shuffleboard (SoDo)
🚲 Go on a bike tour and learn about some of your favorite spots in Ivanhoe Village (Ivanhoe)
🌸 Spring Fiesta in the Park is back at Lake Eola and you're invited through Sunday (Lake Eola)
🍿 Head to The Nook for a night of movie trash (they're watching "Catwoman") and tasty local brews (Milk District)
🎶 UCF Choirs invite you to an evening of music celebrating unity and the 100th anniversary of the women's suffrage movement (Downtown)
📚 Check out this day-long celebration of books including writing workshops and a panel of bestselling authors from all over the country like NYT best-selling author Angie Thomas, in conversation with Ayana Gray (Online)
🐰 Hop over to Delaney Street Baptist Church for Easter Fest '21 including games, crafts, an egg hunt, and lots of fun for the whole family (Delaney Park)
🖼 Take a guided tour of the Orlando Museum of Art's current exhibit: A Boundless Drop to a Boundless Ocean (Loch Haven Park)
🍻 Sunday Funday proper with fitness first followed by brunch and brews at Orlando Brewing (SoDo)
👋 Make friends with other couples in Orlando over a virtual coffee chat (Online)