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.”



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