Mike and Tony had the pleasure of meeting Charlie Webb, an Army veteran from Detroit who now makes his home, and lots of delicious food, in Poughkeepsie, New York, right here in GCSEN’s home base of the Hudson Valley.
Above: Hudson & Packard, Poughkeepsie
Above: Charlie Webb with a pie fresh out of the oven
Above: Mike Caslin with Charlie Webb and the TV crew
Charlie embodies the GCSEN spirit of inspiration, grit and determination. Traveling the world with the Army, he constantly sought the kind of pizza he grew up eating but was frequently disappointed. When his service ended, the veteran pivoted to food full-time, enrolling at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. In just a few years he had started Hudson & Packard. Now, this popular Poughkeepsie restaurant has earned the title of one of the best pizzerias in the world for the second year in a row. They finished third in the pan division at the 39th annual International Pizza Expo & Conference in Las Vegas in late March 2023.
Above: Shooting in action while some lucky guests enjoy pizza from H&P
Above: Charlie looking over pizza production in the H&P kitchen
In this episode of Veteran's Playbook, Mike Caslin learns about Charlie’s service, his entrepreneurial journey, and what makes a good Detroit-style pizza. Charlie was also able to sit down with his professor from the Culinary Institute, to discuss food, life, and community.
Above: Charlie revisits his journey through culinary school