Over the weekend, featherweight boxer and New Haven-native Tramaine Williams hosted youth from Connecting Through Literacy: Incarcerated Parents, Their Children, and Caregivers (CLICC) at Frank Pepe Pizzeria in New Haven, Connecticut, for a pizza-making community event. During the event, pizza-making lessons were taught by Gary Bimonte, grandson of Frank Pepe and master pizzaiolo; and Colin M. Caplan, author, historian, and owner of Taste of New Haven, and the children learned about the history of pizza in the city. Additionally, each child received a copy of Pizza in New Haven by Colin M. Caplan through the generosity of Roc Nation Sports boxing promoter Dino Duva.
Bimonte said, “Here at Frank Pepe's, we have always loved giving back to the community and hosting our neighbors for fun events such as this one. My friend Colin Caplan, owner of Taste of New Haven, asked me if we wanted to partner with Tramaine Williams to host kids from CLICC for a day of pizza making, and of course, we were on board. Tramaine was a great role model for the kids and they really seemed to enjoy themselves. It was a lot of fun teaching them about the history of our pizzeria and how to make a great pie. We would love to have them back again.”
Williams was inspired to host this event through his own struggles with incarnated parents, as his grandmother raised him and his siblings while both of his parents were in jail during his youth.
He said, “It was great to spend a day with the kids making and learning about pizza. It was an awesome experience to get to know the kids individually. What they like, don’t like on their pizza, etc. We all got to bond over a common love for the food! There was also a lot of interesting history behind pizza that I didn’t know about. It’s always nice to get out into the community, do something fun and learn a new thing or two.”
This event was made possible by Taste of New Haven, Frank Pepe Pizzeria and Roc Nation Sports.