As part of Eater's first-ever Pizza Week, chefs at four Portland restaurants that normally don't serve pizzas agreed to make a special Eater Pizza, just for us (and you — they're available on the menu all this week). Every day we'll highlight a new creation... and up first, pizzas by cheesemonger Steve Jones, available at Cheese Bar through the end of this week (and beyond).
When Eater issued the pizza challenge to Cheese Bar's head monger Steve Jones, he took the opportunity to declare May Pizza Month at his SE Belmont shop. "It's fun. It lets these guys play more, and we find more interesting things to get on the menu," Jones says. "I'm a huge believer in giving yourself very definite boundaries, and less is more — with ingredients this good, three or four different ingredients should be its own thing."
For Jones' pizza creation — the first of several trial recipes — Jones combines carmelized onions, comte and raclette cheeses, English walnuts, olive oil, and a argulua emulsion on a panini-like crust. "It's fondue basically," Jones says of the walnut pizza, which borrows heavily from the menu's melted French comte and reclette dish. "Immediately, I was like, 'we should make a fondue pizza.' Really it was crew chow — we were eating a[n arugula] salad and the fondue right there, side by side."
Adam Kennedy, of Broken Frame Bakery, acted as Jones' dough ringer, working with a naan and flatbread concept to create the dough. At the bar, Jones' crew first flattens the dough in a panini press for 15-30 seconds, adds the toppings, then finishes off the pizza in the oven, after a five to seven-minute bake. The "fondue pizza" is now available on the Cheese Bar menu this week, but with every Sunday in May now dubbed "pizza night," expect other options like a Brebis cheese, pepper, and salami pizza (also pictured above), featuring Fino in Fondo's Calabrese salami. But as to be expected, the cheese acts as the main site for inspiration. "That fresh brebis cheese — it's so good right now, we're putting it on everything," Jones says.
· Cheese Bar [Official site]
· All Previous Cheese Bar Coverage [Eater PDX]
· All Pizza Week 2012 Coverage [Eater PDX]