Mise en Place
David had his mise en place down, with a long make table set up under a tent — this guy could make pizza in a hurricane (OK, maybe in a gentle rain).
The Day's Proposed Menu
David had planned a menu that drew from some of his influences (a kale-topped pizza à la Paulie Gee) along with creations of his own (an ajvar, endive, and fontina pizza).
Scott Wiener had brought along his infrared thermometer gun — I wouldn't be surprised if he just carried it with him at all times — and noted that the oven was pretty much at the ideal temperature. David had been stoking it well before we had arrived and said he knows it's ready when the top of the dome "clears" or turns white.
According to Wikipedia, avjar is a "relish, made principally from red bell peppers, with eggplant, garlic and chili pepper." David's mixture was simply chopped roasted red peppers. I've never seen this used on a pizza before and was eager to try it.
The Avjar Pie
David puts avjar on as the sauce, tops it with some Belgian endive, and cooks it partway before adding chunks of fontina cheese. (That's not an egg you see in the bottom shot; it's a bit of fontina that was a bit slow to melt.) An inventive pie, but David said he'd probably add more cheese in the future so that you got some in every bite. I agree. It would serve to balance out the assertive sauce.
This one's a white pie with Littleneck clams, smoked and regular fior di latte, and a clam reduction with hot pepper. David finishes it with grated Parm, lemon juice, and parsley.
The Mortadella and Potato
The first three pies out of the oven were good, but it wasn't until this pizza that David really got his crust where he wanted it. Fortunately, this was on a pizza whose topping combo was really good and turned out to be one of my favorites of the tasting. Thinly sliced mortadella and potato rounds topped with fior di latte, oil, and salt. David had some crushed pistachios he was going to add prebake — so they toasted in the oven — but I think we were in his hair and he forgot. We added them afterward, and the pie was still good. Would love to taste them toasted on this one though. The pistachios, Scott noted, were a little bit of a nod to Pizzeria Bianco's Rosa pie.
Kale and Chorizo
This was my favorite pie of the day. I think Scott's, too. It riffs off of Paulie Gee's kale pizza, but the addition of chorizo is new. And the spiciness of the sausage does well against the strong flavor of the vegetable. It's a white pie, the only other ingredients being fior di latte, olive oil, and salt. The kale was marinated in olive oil and salt before going on the pizza.