Webisode #3: Pizzeria Mozza's Matt Molina

Matt Molina - Pizzeria Mozza:

In the previous video segment you met Nancy Silverton, the visionary behind Pizzeria Mozza, and in this segment you'll meet her Executive Chef and Head Pizzaiolo, Matt Molina, the man who makes the magic happen every day at the oven. Matt is a great guy and has been working with Nancy since he was a young chef, cooking at her previous restaurant, Campanille (awarded Restaurant of the Year by the James Beard Foundation when Nancy was still there). As you will see in some of the close-ups in this segment, there is something different about the Mozza pizzas; they have a compositional beauty that goes beyond the norm. The char on the dough is spectacular, they bake for somewhere between 5 to 7 minutes, which is longer than at traditional Napoletana pizzerias, but this allows the crust to get deeply baked and remain crisp while you eat the slices (unlike with Napoletana pizzas--which usually require a knife and fork--you can actually pick these slices up and hold them, yet somehow the crust remains moist and creamy). And, as you will see, the garnishing work at Mozza establishes new benchmarks for presentation, whether with finishing salts, fennel pollen, or greens.

This episode sets the stage for those to come, when Matt will make pizzas for us and discuss some of his favorite ingredients. But, before we return to Matt, and later to Nancy, next week we'll head over to the LaBrea Bakery, where the dough for the pizzas is made. As those who follow my writing know, I rank the crust of any pizza as worth up to 80% of the experience, with good toppings as merely a bonus (though the toppings at Mozza are far more than a bonus--they are stars in their own right). We'll get a peek next time at how the Mozza dough is made and maybe, if you watch closely, you'll pick up some tricks for your own pizzas.

In the meantime, enjoy this segment with Matt Molina, part-2 of our 7-part webisode series, as we go deeper into the exciting world of Pizzeria Mozza.



#1 Caleb Schiff 2011-01-06 09:18
Nice video Peter. Can you tell me if Matt works the peel every night? I have found in my pizza exploration that the best pizzas are often the work of a single pizzaiolo. Bianco is probably the best example of these commitment to the peel that, to me, has produced some of the best pizzas I've eaten.
#2 du8 2011-01-06 14:53
Very Nice!...I look forward to seeing the future videos!
#3 Peter Reinhart 2011-01-07 14:27
My recollection is that Matt works the oven quite often but not exclusively. He has a full team of pizzaiolos in order to keep up with the demand, plus, he has to watch over quite an extensive menu of other Pizzeria Mozza menu items such as apps, salads, and side dishes--all of which are treated with the same artisan approach. But, yes, as far as I know (and these kind of things are always subject to change) he still makes pizzas too.
#4 steve pepe 2011-01-20 17:59
:lol: Hi Peter. We went to Mozza and spent about 4 hours and had a dozen pizzas. They answered all our questions except how they made the dough. It is entirely diffferent dough than Tony's or Bianco or Water and Flour. See if you can get the receipe. Thanks Steve
#5 Claudio 2011-01-21 16:55
:-) I've just had a pizza woodfired pizza oven built at home, still learning how to use it. I am glad to see, even the pro's get it wrong from time to time. Great video, keep up the good work. Traralgon Vic Australia.
#6 vinnie pacelli 2011-01-27 12:33
im interested to if the dough was allowed to rest and if so how long after mixing.
#7 amedeo 2011-04-24 18:55
nancys talent with bread makes all the differance with her pizzas the carmelization is superb there slower bake time amounts to a great crust and soft interior peter check out amedeos brick oven in upstste ny a star is rising amedeos brick oven pizzeria 845 454 4563
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