The perfect flour to make the perfect pizza
Canadians can claim a few culinary anomalies as their own. Clamato juice for our Bloody Caesars, poutine, and Hawaiian pizza are a few that come to mind. Imagine… Hawaiian pizza being hailed as our own. Why didn’t the Hawaiians think of it? Because it’s pizza. And we DO love our pizza here in the great white north.
As the outdoor kitchen becomes increasingly more popular as an extension of our living space, wood fired pizza ovens are also enjoying a huge revival. With modern technology producing ovens that are user friendly, sleeker in design, and better insulated (reducing heat up times), families across North America are experimenting with pizza in their own backyards.
On a recent trip to Canada, Italian born and trained Pizzaiolo Chef Tommaso Damasco found himself training the staff at a local Ontario boutique pizzeria, in the fine art of authentic pizza crafting. He describes himself as a mad scientist. “I love pizza!” he says in his charming Italian accent. “I dream about it! I would get up at three in the morning to make dough. I’m sure my wife thought I was out of my mind,” he laughs.
Damasco, originally an under-water welder, met his wife Neah Kelly in Italy and eventually they moved to the States. Damasco aspired to become a restaurateur, but “I’m a perfectionist,” he says. “Anything I’m going to do, I’m going to do well.” So, he went back to Italy to learn from the masters.
Soon after he completed his training, he opened his first restaurant, Damasco’s Pizzeria & Spaghetteria which was a resounding success and this year he launched Juliet Ristorante in Charleston, South Carolina, where he lives with his wife, and three children.
Now a consultant, Damasco helps restaurants create menus and craft kitchen systems. Pizza, of course, is his specialty and he teaches the gentle art of making the perfect dough. Pivetti 00 flour from Modena in Northern Italy is his secret weapon. High quality, simple ingredients are key to true Italian style food.
There are currently a wide variety of authentic pizza ovens available in the Canadian marketplace. An oven that produces high temperatures is key to producing the best pizza possible. Damasco recommends a wood fired pizza oven for the best results, but do your homework and decide which suits your lifestyle and budget best.