From the Department of Silly Hats we have Mozza's Nancy Silverton sporting a stylish horizontally-challenged balloon hat at last weekend's 28th American Food & Wine Festival, Wolfgang Puck's charity event for Meals on Wheels. (The handsome yet oddly bare-headed guy to her right, is of course, is Mozza executive chef Matt Molina. No word on what happened to his balloon hat.) To learn why the reigning Queen of Pizza and Sourdough Bread was decked out like this, turn the page.

Silverton says she came up with the idea for a circus theme at her festival booth because two of Mozza's staff members are ex-circus performers, specifically Owen Edson, the dining room manager, is a juggler and former host Elizabeth Braun is a fire swallower. Go figure. It didn't hurt that Francis Sebastian, a manager at the Pizzeria, just happens to be an expert in balloon art. Okay, so if you want a job at Mozza, I guess you now know the preferred talent pool. And with all that talent, why not use it. Thus Silverton and company served tiny hot dogs, brats, corndogs, chocolate dipped frozen bananas and gave out bags of spicy caramel corn while, at one point, Braun actually did some fire swallowing. Because they could. Because it is very cool. Because what else do you do when the boss likes to rotate hot dogs looking like this?

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