By Laurelle Walsh
East 20 Pizza’s new kitchen manager, Ben Collier, says he’s happy to be working at the popular establishment in Winthrop. “It’s fun to make a really great pizza and put a smile on people’s face,” Collier said.
Collier fills a new position at East 20, one that owner Ryan Clement has seen a need for, for some time. “I needed to find a way to not be here all the time,” Clement said. When his long-time friend expressed an interest in moving back to the mainland from Maui, Clement jumped at the chance to incorporate Collier into the East 20 family. “It’s great to have Ben here,” Clement said.
The friends grew up together in Chelan, both graduating from Chelan High School in 1999. And while Clement was earning his pizza chops at Local Myth Pizza, Collier began learning the ropes of restaurant cooking at Campbell’s Resort. Not long after, Collier moved to Maui, where he cooked at Tommy Bahama and then Mala Ocean Tavern in Wailea.
Now at East 20, Collier wants to streamline functions and put his spin to a few items, but basically continue making the high-quality pizza the restaurant is known for, he said. Once things quiet down a bit in the fall, he expects to add a few new pizzas to the mix and perhaps add some specials, Collier said.