NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – October is National Pizza Month.
CBS2’s Lisa Rozner got to spend some time talking to several chefs that made the pivot to pizza during the pandemic.READ MORE: Brooklyn Deli Shooting Of Sayid Muthana Caught On Video; Search Continues For Suspects
From an everything bagel pie to “The Oddfather” (roasted zucchini, tempura crumbs, brown butter, olive oil), Manhattan native and Michelin-starred chef Wylie Dufresne is taking New York-style pizza to another level.
During lockdown, he took an interest in making pizza for his family of eight, exploring every aspect – from the sauce, to the dough.
“Pizza certainly saved me in this pandemic because, again, not having a business to focus on and work on,” Dufresne said. “There’s a constant opportunity to learn.”
At Breads Bakery in Union Square, their bread oven is turned into a pizza oven for part of the week.
“They finish baking bread around 12:30 or 1 p.m., and we come in around 2 p.m.,” Dufresne said.
Tuesday through Thursday nights, Dufresne is serving pies alongside childhood friend and fellow chef Josh Eden. It takes around eight minutes per pie.
“This one is very, very light cheese and very thin crust,” said customer Ruth Miller.
Every month, a guest chef creates a new pie. November will feature one from Chinese chef Simone Tong.
“And she’s got some beautiful Chinese pickles and a chili maple sauce,” Dufresne said. “It’s like a wonderful clean slate. It’s an opportunity. The sky’s the limit, right?”READ MORE: Police: Straphangers Targeted In Series Of Knifepoint Robberies In The Bronx
Over in Hell’s Kitchen, that’s the case for chef-owner Charlie Marshall of The Marshal on 10th Avenue near 45th Street. He transformed his farm-to-table menu to farm-to-pizza.
“We’d always done American farm-to-table woodfired cuisine, but that didn’t make sense after COVID hit,” Marshall said.
He started serving around a dozen varieties of pizza during lockdown, and now has more than double: 26 options.
He says his fancy woodfired oven, which he jokes is his “2,000-year-old microwave,” gets up to 800 degrees. Each pie comes out in about three minutes.
“I wanted to really feature that flavor and that flavor profile you get in the early oil, so I paired it with butternut squash, seed oil and crispy sage leaves, beautiful roasted red onion,” Marshall said.
He says the most popular is the pepperoni pie.
This National Pizza Month, the reservation app Seated is offering extra rewards at pizza restaurants like The Marshal.
“Its been really helpful to us,” Marshall said.
And he helps others: Buying his cheese from Queens, delivered three times a week, and all other ingredients from farmers across the region.MORE NEWS: SEE IT: Explosion Rocks Home, Sparks Fire Overnight In Cypress Hills; 6 People Hurt
It leads to a delicious outcome for all.