Charlie Hallowell was raised in suburban Connecticut on a modest diet of TV dinners and Chef Boyardee. After attending Northfield Mt. Hermon high school he left the country to seek his fortunes in the East. Upon return he met and fell in love with the mother of his two children in Berkeley California. Through some completely unexplainable, miraculous twist of fate he found himself working in the kitchen at Chez Panisse. For the first time in his life he felt completely engaged and enlivened by his job, and the intellectual life that permeated the culture at Chez Panisse. After eight years of working in the kitchen, a degree in English literature, and almost a decade in the Bay Area, Charlie felt it was time to try a project of his own.
Pizzaiolo is Charlie’s first attempt at embodying his love of food, local politics, and the nightly production of meal time narrative. After six years of running the kitchen at Pizzaiolo, Charlie stepped out to open his second restaurant in Oakland, The Boot and Shoe Service. Another small neighborhood joint, The Boot is a little bit the rowdy younger brother to Pizzaiolo. It was Charlie's attempt to make an even simpler more elegant space with the same philosophy of local, organic, and seasonal with very little else. Despite himself, Charlie has found beauty and a measure of nirvana living a short bike ride from his restaurants and the community around him.