A League of Their Own
Sarah Minnick’s enlightened pie tactics—which break with traditional pizza creed—make for the most remarkable homemade slices imaginable
SARAH MINNICK of Lovely’s Fifty-fifty had little ambition to become a pizzaiola—which might be why she has one of the most refreshing, liberating takes on pizza around. In 2003, the former art student opened a fine-dining restaurant in Portland, Oregon, with her sister and mother. When the recession hit, the team pivoted to pizza. And when her umpteenth chef quit, Minnick took over the pie making.
“I’d developed a palate for bright, seasonal food at the restaurant,” she says. As for mastering pizza dough: “I just kept practicing until I had it right.” The recipe, which continues to evolve, is now around 40-percent-wholegrain sourdough and uses up to five different artisanal flours, and the toppings are mostly vegetables—100 percent Oregon grown. “Now I work closely with just a few farmers, and I use whatever they bring me—even their oddball overwintered or cover crops.” Recent deliveries have included almond blossoms, hedgehog mushrooms, and goosefoot greens.
Some Minnick ferments or pickles, others she shaves or sprinkles raw onto pies. Whatever is working best determines the daily menu. “Maybe it’s because I approach cooking like art, but I would never want to turn out the same pizza day after day.”