fresh cheese), homemade sausage, friarielli (greens), roasted yellow tomato, Calabrian pepper, and provolone cheese. The Cacio & Pepe Pizza combines Cacio di Roma (sheep’s milk cheese from Rome), pecorino Romano, buffalo mozzarella, and toasted black pepper. Stellina was started by Antonio Matarazzo and Chef Matteo Venini. One important facet of preparing an authentic Neapolitan-style pizza is the oven used to cook it. Stellina purchased a stunning handcrafted Italian brick oven by Marra Forni, a brick oven company owned by two native Italian brothers and based in Beltsville, Md. The oven can cook the pizzas in two minutes flat. Another important aspect is the ingredients: the use of specialty cheeses and an attention to detail go a long way. One way to make pizza flavorful is a simple ingredient like cracked black pepper. Michael Watz, proprietor/ executive chef, Watz Your Culinary Professor, says “Crusts in general I think could benefit from the addition of cracked, black pepper— simple and easy for added flavor.” Octopus is a pizza ingredient that consumers may be interested in. Photo by Nikita Tikhomirov.
value proposition. This lies in the ability to offer customized pies that can be personalized to the nth degree in real time.
Trending ingredients and styles At the heart of specialized pizzerias and pizza chains is a love of pizza and fresh ingredients. Packaged Facts notes that basil saw its rise in the mid-part of the century and that overall, pizza lovers enjoy it. Prosciutto has also seen a surge over the last few years. With the rise of fast-casual pizza chains offering customization and choice, traditional pizzerias have doubled down on their craft and creativity. Neapolitan-style pizza is a trend that has taken hold, especially in urban markets. At Stellina Pizzeria, a popular, emerging pizzeria concept in Washington, D.C., the Carrettiera Pizza is made with Fiordilatte (semi-soft, RESTAURANT C-SUITE | Restaurant news that’s fresh, informed, inspired (by you) 12
Different techniques and styles can make a pizza stand out. Watz recently traveled to Europe and observed how a few tweaks can produce a significant result. At a pizzeria in Puglia, Italy, he saw that using olive-oilinfused wood can enhance the flavor profile and create a scent that draws customers in. It’s free marketing, he suggested. As he traveled Europe, Watz noted some uncommon ingredients that could have their moments on American pies in the near future. He suggests octopus, calamari and cuttlefish. And grilled vegetables, roasted garlic and tomato confit are garnish ingredients that never go out of style, and always make pizza more flavorful.
Roman-style and Detroit-style pizza Nielsen notes that Pollara, a pizzeria in Berkeley, Calif., has been standing out from the crowd with its Roman-style pizza. These pizzas are made in a long pan and several styles can come from the same pan. Daily featured pizzas offer a rotating set of fresh, differentiated ingredients. Recently