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.