Pizza Maker Jay Jerrier Dials In New York-Style with Brooklyn's Best and Grandma Pie
When Jay Jerrier first opened Il Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum in 2011, he was intent on making "authentic Neapolitan pizza." So intent that not only did he buy an oven from Naples and use a mixer, flour and tomatoes from Naples, but he even recruited a Dino Santonicola, who grew up making pizza in Naples. The only thing left out was importing fresh air from Naples.
LDD Manuel Arce, Dino Santonicola, Frank Pinello and Matt Reddick
Three years into Neapolitan pizza-making, Jerrier has turned his scope onto New York-style pizza, which is very specifically not served in his Neapolitan den. This summer, hopefully in August, he will open his third pizza spot (there are two Il Cane Rossos), Zoli's, in Oak Cliff, just a hustle outside the Bishop Arts District in what used to be BEE: Best Enchiladas Ever.
So, what are Jerrier's plans to bring the perfect slice of New York-style pizza to Dallas? Well, first he sent Santonicola, the master pizzaiolo at Cane Rosso, and GM Megan Dennison on a Big Apple pizza binge.
Jerrier got input from a few people in the industry, like Serious Eats' blog, Slice and some colleagues in NYC.
"We had some recommendations on places to go," says Dennison, "even though everyone has their own opinion on which place has the best pizza."
On the first day of the trip, Santonicola and Dennison indulged in slices from seven different places. Day two: five places. Day three, into a taper: just three.
One of those places was Best Pizza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where they met 30-year-old chef and owner Frank Pinello, who opened this tiny (in Texas terms) pizza spot just three years ago. And the Dallas duo agreed that Best Pizza was, as the ballsy name suggests, pretty damn good.
That's when once again Jerrier, a man clearly intent on authenticating his technique and recipes, recruited Pinello to help him "dial in" his pizza. Jerrier plucked Pinello from the comforts of his tiny Brooklyn pizzeria and brought him to Dallas for 100-degree heat and a two-week pizza-making training camp.