Joey Fatone and Schlotzsky’s create a tasty new menu item, interview

Joey Fatone and the Fatone Calzone for Schlotzskys, photo provided by Schlotzskys
Joey Fatone and the Fatone Calzone for Schlotzskys, photo provided by Schlotzskys /

Joey Fatone is saying bye, bye, bye to his old self. Like many celebrities, it is time for a makeover, a new look and even a new name. While he hasn’t lost his voice or his rhythm, the entertainer is ready to dip back into the food world with the help of Schlotzky’s. What tasty treats have the paired baked up?

When people think of Schlotzky’s, the fresh baked bread and delicious sandwiches instantly come to mind. While those hearty bites always satisfy, that iconic dough can be more than just a vehicle for another stack of cold cuts. Enter the Schlotzky’s calzones.

While new menu items bring excitement, sometimes that first bite needs a great spokesperson. With the launch of the Schlotzsky’s calzones, the company looked to a man who knows about Italian food, Joey Fatone.

As part of the new launch, Fatone and Schlotzsky’s understood that just another new food would is not exciting enough. It needed a launch worthy of all the deliciousness packed in a single bite. But, food is meant to be fun. Luckily, this partnership appreciates that willingness to have a little humor in every serving.

Recently, FoodSided spoke to Joey Fatone about his partnership with Schlotzsky’s, what makes a great Italian inspired dish and why a litlte humor can season any food. While many people know Fatone from ‘NSYNC, his numerous television projects and other entertainment connections, he isn’t a stranger to the food world. He has ventured into food partnerships in the past, including his own popular food truck located in Florida.

Like many of his projects, Fatone wants to add a little fun in the experience. Specifically commenting on this project, he appreciates that “the funny thing about Schlotzsky’s is they don’t take themselves too serious” which is something that he does himself. As seen by the videos, including rebranding himself as Joey Calzone, it adds to the excitement about these new menu items. Sometimes that little extra makes people crave that first bite.

Fatone believes that the humor engages people. Anyone who has watched him in Impractical Jokers appreciates that sentiment. For him, the seriousness of his character makes the whole premise even funnier. While his “straight-laced character” might want to hone is craft, everyone is in on the joke. Fatone believes that after everything people have been through, it is time to laugh a little and not take everything quite so seriously.

For this collaboration, Fatone wants everyone to appreciate that it really starts with the dough. As he commented, everyone knows about the iconic Schlotzsky’s dough and the bread that is made fresh every day. It is one of the standouts that makes the food delicious.

While the bread is the start, Fatone admits that these calzones are a big bite. Stuffed into that dough is a hearty helping of pepperoni, ham, salami and mozzarella. And, it comes with a marinara dipping sauce.

Joey Fatone and the Fatone Calzone for Schlotzskys
Joey Fatone and the Fatone Calzone for Schlotzskys, photo provided by Schlotzskys /

Since Fatone knows a little about Italian food, it begs the question. What makes a great Italian food flavor combination. While no one would ever giveaway the secret to grandma’s gravy, Fatone shares that it really is finding that right balance.

For him, it comes down to “the simplicist things.” Regarding his preference, a great gravy or sauce is about “the more simplicist the better.” Even if some people render the onions and the carrots or put in all the spices, it starts with great tomatoes and a few other items. Too many competing flavors can muddle the experience. Maybe like a catchy song, it really comes down to just the right beat and a smart phrase to make it memorable.

Although the new calzones from Schlotzsky’s might not have everyone saying goodbye to their other favorite menu items, these new offerings could have everyone running to get that first taste and wanting to come back time and again.

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Schlotzsky’s new calzones include The Fatone Calzone, The French Dip Calzone, and The BBQ Chicken Calzone. They are available at participating restaurants.

Joey Fatone is involved in numerous projects and has recently finished a Las Vegas residency, The After Party.