Gabriele Bonci, celebrity baker and founder/owner of Rome's pilgrimage-worthy Pizzarium, visited New York this past weekend to promote the release of his new cookbook, Pizza: Seasonal Recipes from Rome's Legendary Pizzarium. On Saturday, I was lucky enough to be a part of a fantastic, carbed-out lunch, where Bonci was serving up slices paired with Italian craft beers picked by journalist and food blogger Katie Parla.
The event was held at the one and only Paulie Gee's, and a more atmospherically appropriate setting would be hard to come by. Bonci has been romantically nicknamed "the Michelangelo of pizza," and is renowned for his style of pizza al taglio. While his square, traditionally Roman pies were not on the menu that afternoon, the meal proved exceptional.
A recent partnership between Bonci and millers Molino Iaquone provided the specialty flour for the dough—77% hydration with a 2-3 day ferment. The pies themselves, with their array of seasonal toppings, were baked in Paulie's wood fired oven at around 752º F. Katie, a resident of Rome and expert in its cuisine, did an excellent job in matching beers to pies.
Rich, creatively topped pies and a selection of Italian craft beers? How could I not keep packing it away, long after I was full. Don't just take my word for it: Check out the slideshow for a look at all the slices and brews!