Local Aims for Cadillac of Pizza Cutting

Writer / Nathan Lamb

In the world of pizza cutting implements, local entrepreneur Tom Faludy has a new product he’s billing as a cut above the rest.

It’s called the Big Ass Pizza Cutter, and Faludy said it’s about kicking pizza parties up a notch.

“Pizza is not really a solitary food,” he said. “It’s a shared food, so there’s a social context to it, and within that social context, this thing becomes a focal point and catalyst for conversation, fun and sharing.”

Crafted stateside from stainless steel, the cutter sports a 22-inch tang-style blade, weighing in at roughly 2 pounds. It also features hickory handles and optional engraving on the blade.

Having worked much of the past year to develop the idea, Faludy said the idea was to combine the industrial-style cutters from pizzerias with an “Old World” customized feel. He said it’s also designed for easy storage alongside baking pans.

The tool evolved through 11 different prototypes, refining functionally, looks and performance, before Faludy launched a website to market the cutter in early February. He’s optimistic it’ll become a popular gift for guys who already have everything.

“I think guys are pretty hard to buy for,” he said. “They already have a shirt and tie and most of the things people think to get for them; I thought this would be a great gift.”

Faludy, 67, has lived near Geist Reservoir for roughly 18 months, since retiring from an executive position with Berkshire Hathaway. He remains active as a business consultant, saying he still works on the board of directors for three domestic companies and one in Australia.

That business background includes manufacturing, and Faludy said that played a role in the development of the pizza cutter. Specifically, he said this project was also about finding a way to bring manufacturing back to Indiana.

“This is a genuine American-made product with 100 percent American-made components, made by Americans in Middlebury, Ind.,” he said. “I think it reflects a mark of craftsmanship.”

Originally from Hungary, Faludy came to the United States as a refugee at age 10. He discovered pizza four years later at a YMCA summer camp and said it’s been a favorite ever since. One of Faludy’s favorite recipes is a Hungarian style pie (see recipe) that he calls the Goulash Pizza.

“Goulash kind of confers a Hungarian connotation,” he said. “Everybody who has tasted it has loved it.”

Faludy said the current plan is to market the cutter exclusively through the website, saying that fits with the customized business model. Looking ahead, he anticipates launching a new line of industrial-sized “Big Ass” barbecue implements this spring.

Asked about the name for his line of products, Faludy said the idea was to be irreverent and amusing.

“It’s all about fun, having a bit of attitude and not taking life too seriously,” he said.

“It’s not vulgar, it’s just kind of cheeky,” he added, at another point. “No pun intended there.”

The company website is bigasspizzacutter.com. Video demonstrations of the cutter are available on YouTube by searching for Big Ass Pizza Cutter.

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Goulash Pizza

1. Start with a frozen thin-crust margherita or supreme pizza.

2. Add freshly chopped onions on top.

3. Microwave thin-sliced, spicy Hungarian sausage on paper towels to reduce the fat. Distribute the sausage slices on top of the pizza.

4. Spoon on a thin layer of lecso — a rich-flavored traditional Hungarian tomato sauce with cooked red pepper strips.

5. Sprinkle on a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack shredded cheeses to hold it all together.

6. Season the top with garlic powder, parsley and cracked pepper. Jalapeno pepper slices and/or banana pepper slices are optional.

7. Bake at 400 degrees until the crust browns well.