When I first met Rafi Bildner he was looking for his next project. He knew he wanted to cook, knew he liked pizza, and knew he wanted to build a community. Weeks later, he was a student at Pizza University in a class being taught by Jonathan Goldsmith, John Arena, and myself. Rafi was extremely enthusiastic and passionate so John and Jonathan were immediately drawn to him. After Pizza University, Rafi headed out to San Francisco to work with Jeff Krupman at Pizza Hacker in the Mission.
When he landed back on the east coast at his home base in the Berkshires, Rafi started looking for the next step. What he stumbled upon was the perfect antidote for both himself and the surrounding community. Rafi took his Hilltown Hot Pies concept to Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, NY where he offered a weekend pop-up all summer long. Orders are placed and paid for in advance so he wouldn’t have to handle any money and all ingredients could be accurately prepped. The farm’s pizza oven is situated in the corner of a field with an idillic view of the garden area. The experience of eating fresh pizza at the farm is breathtaking.
Hilltown Hot Pies is serving through September 27, 2020.