Posts Tagged ‘Bruno di Fabio’

Cauliflower, Chevre Pizza with Prosciutto Cracklings and Bosc Pear

This pizza is the BOMB. It has everything I love; charred cauliflower paired with toasted Szechuan peppercorns and fresh chevre from Integration Acres in Albany, Ohio. Added to this creamy, astringent and spicy profile are the juxtaposed flavors of tangy fresh cilantro and the sweetness of late season Bosc Pears from Cherry Orchards in Crooksville, Ohio and finally, I finished this pie with the chewy-crunch of sauteed Prosciutto di Parma strips.


It’s great to finally bring you a pizza on this blog. I’ve been very busy messing around with bread and travelling alot as well as baking for the holidays like the local spelt dough spiked with cherry and walnut, (above left) and the chorizo meatballs, (above right,) that I serve on a thick crust Sicilian-style pizza with cilantro, almond, tomato, roasted ancho and Manchego cheese.

It certainly has been a great couple of months. In October, it was my dream to compete with my team of World Pizza Champions at the French World Pizza Championships in Paris. My good friend Bruno di Fabio (Top row, second from right,) won the Best Pizza in the World!

Then in November, I was very happy to bake with my son Sam for Thanksgiving, he was a great employee and I showed my appreciation by paying him a whopping .13 cents an hour despite having  to fire him three times.


Then I got loaded down with plenty of Southeast Ohio vegetable booty from the end of the year.Farmers dumped so many pounds of local root vegetables, Brussel sprouts, peppers, raddichio, pumpkins and most of all pound after pound of daikon radish that I’ve been pickling every day.


Kimchi, curry kimchi, tumeric pickles, miso-pickles etc. etc.

Gotta love this late season! Okay, lets crank out this wonderful pizza!



Using the Easy Dough Recipe, make two seven ounce dough balls, leave under a damp cloth on a plate until ready to bang-out.

Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

One tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns

Four ounces of julienned Prociutto di Parma (no, regular ham won’t do and country ham is too salty.)

Six to eight ounces cauliflower florets

One medium Bosc pear sliced thin

Half cup chopped fresh cilantro

Four to five ounces of chevre goat cheese

Lets Go!

Preheat oven to 485 degrees. Place a pizza stone or an upturned heavy cookie sheet on the middle deck to act as your stone. Using the Easy Dough Recipe, take one dough ball and place on a plate with a wet kitchen towel so it doesn’t dry out.


Place Szechuan peppercorns in a saute pan on medium heat with the oil and saute for four minutes. Add Prosciutto di Parma strips and saute for five to seven minutes until crispy. Transfer to a plate without taking the oil from the pan and hold for topping after the pie is out of the oven.


In the same pan with the same oil that now holds plenty of flavor, place the cauliflower and saute on medium high. Cover and toss frequently. The cauliflower will brown and partially cook till al dente. This will take only seven to eight minutes. (Remember, the cauliflower will cook on the pizza also.) After pulling the cauliflower out and placing on a plate, immediately add the slices of Bosc pear in the pan then turn heat off. Saute for two to three minutes. Pull the pear out and reserve for later also.


Form a disc with the dough and place either on a pizza screen or parchment paper. Place the chopped fresh cilantro on the dough, then the cheese. Place the Bosc pear slices on the pizza then the cauliflower. Place in the oven for ten to twelve minutes or until golden brown. You may have to rotate the pizza halfway through.


When done, top with the Prociutto di Parma crackling-peppercorn mixture and serve immediately.

Wow, look at the cornicione!



Stalking Jean Paul Souliet, Master Baker of the Cote d’ Or

Master Baker Jean Paul sure had me doing “doubletakes,” because he looked and even had mannerisms of Robert DeNiro!

Last month, after three days travel through Switzerland, Italy and Monaco, we decided to visit the best wine country in the world and finally reached our destination at a small town in the Cote d’ Or France. Our base of operations near Beaune was in wonderful castle turret turned into a luxury suite at Manor Equivocal in Moux, which is very small and near Corgoloin, France, which is very small. 

 When we arrived, our awesome host, Irene reccommended we stop by the bakery run by a guy named Jean Paul in a neighboring town called Comblanchein. (I gotta say, if you are ever in this part of France, the Manor Equivocal is the bomb!) We even made a side trip to a 13th century wine cellar, (below.) The it was off to stalk Jean Paul.


Jean Paul had no idea so we made a plan to stalk him down just like we did with Chef Joel Rubechon in Monaco. So we got up at 3:40 a.m. and drove through the countryside to the small bakery armed only with a small note written by Irene that probably went like this; “Hey Jean Paul, these guys say they are crazy pizza guys but appear to be more on the scummier side, they forced me to tell them where you bake, sorry!” Well, we waited, and waited. Little did we know that it was a holiday! Jean Paul took an extra two hours sleep time…this made us go a little crazy in the car because the Police kept circling around every ten minutes and there was no coffee, and we had only two hours sleep ourselves and…this video sums up our state of mind. (This clip is Rated R for language, immaturity, Police paranoia and indescrete bodily functions.

 I gotta admit that meeting Jean Paul was worth the wait. To say that he is a master of the baguette is an understatement. He is a consumate Michael Jackson fan and his continuous loop of the King of Pop songs played well into the afternoon as we baked and baked. It seemed as though Jean Paul was baking for the whole country but he said that it was only half of what he usually bakes. Here he is explaining part of his technique, (I left out some great secrets.)


In no time, Jean Paul put us to work and put up with all our stupid baking questions.


We baked croissant, seeded loaf, baguette and demi as well as a few batard. Check  out the crumb on the seeded loaf, (below.)

Both Bruno and I learned alot from meeting Chef Souliet, but what impressed me the most was to be around someone so dedicated to his craft. Modern society has dictated so long that once you are successful, you must expand to become owner, then open more stores, then  become CEO, thus ensuring the gap between you and your product. The true craftsman are hard to find these days and I am glad we found Jean Paul.


 Don’t believe me, just look below at how he holds this baguette- it’s not just a piece of bread, it’s a piece of Jean Paul, Master Baker.