Pizza Palooza on February 21 – Get Your Tickets!

If you love pizza, why not try pizza from more than one restaurant, and find out which is your favourite?  Vanfoodster’s Pizza Palooza is coming up on Feb 21, and here is your chance to do just that.  Here is his announcement.

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Tantalize your taste buds at several restaurants centered in downtown Vancouver! This is our 3rd annual pizza tasting extravaganza and it is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

pizza palooza

You may have a chance to taste many types of pizza from Neapolitan to Roman to NY style, South Indian, Lebanese and more!

Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants throughout the event, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

See last year’s Pizza Palooza dining tour here

Visit each of the participating restaurants at your leisure by car, transit or walking.

Registration: tba -this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Pizza Palooza passports.

Participating Restaurants:

Image result for firecrust pizza

Firecrust Neapolitan Pizzeria

808 Davie Street, Vancouver

Web: http://www.firecrustpizzeria.com/bc-menu/

Instagram: @firecrustdavie

Style of Pizza: Neapolitan

Inspired by authentic pizzerias in Naples, Firecrust is keeping true to Neapolitan pizza’s origins by providing products that focus on simplicity, freshness and contain high-quality ingredients. With over 350 possible combinations, you can customise our Neapolitan pizzas and salads to your heart’s desire. You’ll not be disappointed as all our Neapolitan pizza bases are made with non-GMO 00 flour and our tomato base is made strictly from San Marzano tomatoes.

 

ignite

Ignite Pizzeria

508 West Cordova, Vancouver

Web: http://www.ignitepizzeria.com/

Instagram @ignitepizzeria

Style of Pizza: Artisanal

Located at the crossroads of Gastown and Pacific Station, Ignite Express provides you with genuine, refined pizzas at the right price.

Our pizzas are cooked in an artisanal, stone-fired oven and are made of the freshest ingredients. We created a low sodium dough that rests for more than three days, making it very light and easy to digest.

You can either take out or enjoy your slices inside in a very modern and minimal setting. Freshly out of the oven, Ignite Express is perfect for your on-the-go lunch.

 

davie dosa

Davie Dosa Company

1235 Davie Street, Vancouver

Web: http://daviedosacompany.com/

Twitter @daviedosa

Instagram @daviedosacompany

Style of Pizza: South Indian

Davie Dosa Company brings an exotic culinary experience of traditional Southern Indian cuisine and delicious cocktails to a vibrant neighbourhood.

 

Image result for manousheh vancouver

Manoush’eh

620 Davie Street, Vancouver

Web: https://www.manousheh.ca/

Instagram @manoushehbc

Style of Pizza: Lebanese Flatbread

Manousheh is the cherished national pie of Lebanon. It has a reserved place on the country’s breakfast table and has the unique ability to be worked into every meal of the day, due to its simple versatility.

Image result for stretch pizza co

Stretch Roman Pizza Co.

415 Abbott Street, Vancouver

Web: http://stretchpizza.com/

Twitter @stretchpizza

Cuisine: Italian pizzeria

Meet the Roman pizza, inspired by the popular gourmet street food of Rome.

The Italians call it “pizza al taglio”, we call it a perfect slice of pizza!

Starting with the use of high quality, authentic Italian flour and a lengthy 48-hour dough making process, we produce a product that is light and airy with a slight crispiness to the crust.

 

Purchase Tickets Here: 

Tickets:

Early-Bird Tickets: $35 per person before February 11, 2018

Advance Tickets $45 per person after February 11, 2018

Regular $60 per person after February 18, 2018

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).

Note: ALL Tickets must be purchased in advance online. All ticket sales are final. No exchanges or refunds; however you are welcome to transfer the ticket to another person for the same event if you notify us at least 48 hours in advance with name (s) of who will be attending in your place. Participating restaurants subject to change. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc. This is an all ages event and everyone is welcome.

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Are You a True Neapolitan – Pizza?

Nicli AnticaHow often have you thought about pizza?  It has a crust, sauce, toppings, herbs and cheese.  Sounds simple, but it takes true skill to make simplicity seem simple, and delicious.  Take into consideration a Neapolitan pizza.

I was invited to learn about Neapolitan pizza at Nicli Antica Pizzeria in Gastown.  The owner, Bill McCaig, undertook training in how to create a true Neapolitan pizza, and gave us an introduction to Nicli Antica Pizzeria and the things he needed to do in order to be certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN).

The making of a “True Neapolitan Pizza” requires strict adherence to the culinary discipline of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, from the preparation of raw ingredients to the cooking method in an approved wood fired oven (Bill purchased his oven from Italy). Only organic “Pomodoro di Napoli”, fresh mozzarella, fresh herbs, and fresh yeast are permitted.  Bill tries to locally sources his ingredients but still does need to bring in some Italian products, such as the cheese.

Pizza fresh from the oven

Pizza fresh from the oven

What is the Verace Pizza Napoletana?

The VPN is an international non-profit association founded in the mid-1990’s by a group of Neapolitan pizzaiolis (pizza makers) seeking to cultivate the culinary art of Neapolitan pizza making. In June 1998, they were officially established as a denomination of control (DOC) by the Italian government, a designation that made the VPN a legal entity able to give special designation to pizzerias who meet strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making. (Source: Association of Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN), 1998 Charter).

Making a Neapolitan Pizza

We learned about the steps to make and recognize a Neapolitan pizza.  The dough is made simply from flour, water, and salt, then hand rolled.  Each ball of dough for a pizza is exactly 220 grams. When the dough is rolled out and baked it should be no more than 0.4 cm in the center.  The pizzaiolo pushes the dough from the centre of the pizza to the edges to make a diameter not greater than 35 cm.  The pizza is baked in a wood-fired oven for between 60-90 seconds.  That’s fast!

It is then served without being sliced.  We were told that this is the traditional way from Naples to serve a Neapolitan pizza, as it tends to be a bit wetter.  The wood to fire the oven is any hardwood that does not impart flavour. Nicli Antica uses birch.

The first Neapolitan pizza created was the Marinara pizza, that had for the first time in Europe, tomatoes on the pizza!  The second Neapolitan pizza created was the Margherita pizza, which used mozzarella cheese for the first time, along with tomatoes.

We were served a Margherita pizza and enjoyed it with a glass of Tormaresca Neprica 2011 redwine from the Puglia region of Italy. The pizza crust edge was crispy, the center was wetter than other pizzas I’ve had, but that is OK.  The wetness came from a very fresh, vibrant tomato sauce.  Not spicy or full of herbs, just bright tomato flavour.  On top of the pizza were sprigs of fresh Italian basil.  I probably could have eaten the entire pizza myself.

Margherita pizza at Nicli Antica

Margherita pizza at Nicli Antica

Talking with the Chefs

Bill McCaig trained Chef David Tozer in the intricacies of making a Neapolitan pizza.   David was trained through the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, and worked in various restaurants, including the Rocky Mountain Flat Bread company.

Chef David Tozer with a penchant for pizza

Chef David Tozer with a penchant for pizza

I had a chance to talk with both Bill and David,  finding out the back of restaurant tasks of these men.  I learned about them having to start making the dough at 9am every day, between 40-80 kg, which are then divided into the 22o gram balls.  The tomatoes are all hand crushed, and sounds like very hard work.  An evening’s work can be very taxing; for example on a Friday or a Saturday night, they could produce 250 pizzas each evening.  I can truly appreciate their hard work.  I look forward to trying more of their pizzas over the summer.  Enjoy!