Welcome back to Chef in the Kitchen, a recurring Eater photo feature where we boldly go where few diners have gone before — into Portland restaurant kitchens — to get a sneak peek of the chef du jour hard at work.
The Woodsman Tavern's famous Josper oven seems almost custom-built for Pizza Week — but unfortunately, chef Jason Barwikowski doesn't see pizza in the Woodsman's future. "We don't really have any space to do it to order," Barwikowski says. "The oven gets so full of protein and saute pans that there's no room."
But for his one-off pizza creation, Barwikowski built a Middle Eastern-style flatbread around a young Taleggio cheese. After stretching the dough and placing it in the 450-degree oven (keeping a constant eye to flip it over when necessary), Barwikowski sautes a mixture of shallots, radicchio, and balsamic vinegar (a late-harvest Sauvignon Blanc vinegar from Katz Farms), before placing the cheese and toppings on the pizza for a quick stint in the oven. Once done, the pizza is garnished with capers — to add crispiness and salt — and parsley.
Though the pizza won't be available for public consumption, Barwikowski does hint at the possibility of a Woodsman Tavern "pizza night," or other theme nights, sometime in the future. "If we weren't busy, we've talked about doing a Tuesday night fried chicken night, or red sauce and pasta night — something different," Barwikowski says. "But we've been busy enough that I don't want to disrupt it." Stay tuned.
· Woodsman Tavern [Official site]
· All Previous Woodsman Tavern Coverage [Eater PDX]
· All Previous Pizza Week Coverage [Eater PDX]