We had the chance recently to sit down with Danny Abbruzzese, Executive Chef at Jacks Monterey here at the Portola Hotel and talked all things artisan pizza. As a huge fan of the pizza pie, and a self-proclaimed – connoisseur, I can speak from firsthand experience – the pizzas at Jacks Monterey are completely original, and definitely some of the best I’ve ever tasted (gotta love that thin, crispy crust).
Q: What is your in Inspiration behind pizza?
A: I like to stick with traditional flavors incorporating, fresh, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
Q: OK, tell me about your dough recipe?
A: When developing our pizza menu, we tried out 15 different recipes – we decided to feature a classic Neapolitan-style, with a light crispy crust, which we cook at 715 degrees for 115 seconds until crust is crispy.
Q: I noticed some of your ingredients are quite unique and there is an obvious freshness in both appearance and taste to your ingredients, tell me more.
A: When selecting our ingredients, as I mentioned before, we are really looking to highlight fresh, local, seasonal ingredients even when it comes to our cheese, sauce and meat selections. We are currently using a wonderful, low moisture fresh, made to order mozzarella; DOP (protected designation of origin); complemented by San Marzano tomatoes; Molinari of San Francisco cured meats; and local peak season produce.
Q: What type of pizza oven are you using?
A: After attending a pizza making workshop in Washington DC, where I went through an intensive training on dough and cooking techniques, I began to research a variety of oven types. When looking for the best of the best in pizza ovens, we chose the Marra Forni Neapolitan Brick oven-oven. This oven rotates and reaches temperature of over 1000 degrees – in turn providing true Neapolitan-style pizzas for our guest.
Q: Can you share with our Central Coast Living readers, any new recipes on the horizon?
A: Yes! Be on the lookout for our fresh, baked sandwiches and of course seasonal inspired pizzas. I invite all to join us at Jacks Monterey and experience our California Cultural Cuisine and of course, the best pizzas in Monterey!