One of the few times Chris Bianco, arguably the nation's most revered pizzaiolo, has been at a loss for words was about 15 years ago, when a friend asked him to visit a priest known as Father Joe in hospice care. "I just kind of froze," said Mr. Bianco, a normally garrulous chef who ultimately mustered the strength to speak to the dying priest.
"I say, 'Hey, Father Joe, is there anything you can share with me to make me a better man?'" Mr. Bianco recalled. "He says: 'Just understand, if you're in this bed, you'll always ask for more time. So don't waste any time.'"