Posts Tagged ‘local ingredients’

Springtime Ramp Pizza al Metro


spring 2016 1657ii

All I can say about spring is “Let’s ramp things up.”

For weeks now, I’ve been knee deep in ramps and my huge wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano has dwindled considerably from all the ramp pairing I’ve done.

Here is a killer pie with all the fun stuff of spring; Ramps, yellow beets and  Parmigiano Reggiano.

spring 2016 1629ii

Usually this is just perfect but I’ve decided to go really nuts and added Soppersata Friuli, edible violets and some great pea shoots from the Farmers at the Athens Farmers Market.

spring 2016 1640ii spring 2016 1643ii

First I started with a thirty hour, cold fermented dough made with Manitoba wheat at fourteen percent protein. It was leavened with my age-old starter with a little extra virgin olive oil. I flattened this baby really long and stretched and stretched… and proofed some more….and stretched. I then added a few handfuls of ramps. (Never skimp on ramps because then will melt to nothing on a pizza.)

spring 2016 1647ii

I then cooked this baby in a 630 degree oven until the parm was just melted and the ramps wilting nicely.

spring 2016 1656ii

Then it was time to add the yellow beet from Shade River Organic farms. I roasted these in a foil bag with the skins on at 350 degrees for 45 minutes then left them to steam even more for hours until they cooled. (This ensured a deep, sweet beet flavor and no crappy black spots.) I then skinned and sliced them- perfect for a mid cook, pizza topping.

spring 2016 1664ii spring 2016 1657ii

After the browning of the crust was complete, I added the sopperasata to melt completely on the still-hot pie, then I waited a little longer to put the pea shoots and violets.

spring 2016 1677ii

This baby rocks!


Kids Really do Make the Best Pizzas!


summer 2015 1370iixx

In my almost forty years in restaurants, I’ve never had as much fun as being sous chef to a bunch of kids. This summer, I teamed up with Jan and Kip, the managers of the Athens Farmers Market to show these youngsters how to make pizza in a high-heat oven. They amazed me at their culinary prowess and insight to make their best pizza creations- (In fact the only one who dropped their pizza ((twice)) was me.)

summer 2015 1366iiThumbs up for a pepperoni pie…

summer 2015 1363ii

Game Changer: Nothing compliments pepperoni more than…meatballs!

summer 2015 1238ii

and nothing brings a smile to a kids face more than tossing a dough.

summer 2015 1321ii

Here’s a beautiful pizza in a non-traditional form just the way it was meant to be made!

summer 2015 1226ii

From forming the crust…

summer 2015 1348ii

to loading the oven fast and confidently…

summer 2015 1286ii

…these great pizza makers really brought their “A” game.

summer 2015 1314ii

That’s right, check this great pie out!

summer 2015 1340ii

But more than the pizza, nothing beats the look of a kid who knows they just made a killer pizza!

summer 2015 1337ii

So adieu until next summer my excellent pizza chefs, keep firing up those delicious pizzas!

summer 2015 1219ii

A special thanks to Kip and Jan, some real special people who run the Athens Farmers Market and to Torrey and Dane, you guys rock!

summer 2015 1292ii

Can you believe a kid made this pie? Newsflash to all you so-called “pizza aficionado’s”, get ready, this younger generation is gonna drop a pizza bomb on you someday!