Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blaze Pizza

One of the best opportunities this blog has presented me with is the opportunity to meet and chat with restaurant owners and chefs. It’s such a diverse field and I love being able to see what drives each individual and what the really love about being in the kitchen. 

I was recently given the opportunity to sit down and chat with Chef Brad Kent of Blaze Pizza. Along with learning about his fascinating background and passion for food, I also learned all about the heart and soul that Chef Brad put into creating the perfect formula for pizza here at Blaze. 
Chef Brad is involved with every step of the pizza making process - every little nitty gritty detail. Starting with the crust, which he describes as "delicate with a crunch." Taking inspiration from the way the french make baguettes combined with the ratio of the way the Italians make pizza he created a formula for the perfect crust. As far as the cheese, sauce and olive, Brad makes sure that the people who provide the ingredients are passionate about their product and that they love and respect every part of the process. 
A couple of fun facts I couldn't resist asking Chef Brad. 

Best thing I ever ate: An oyster poboy with creole, tomatoes, hotsauce and fried oysters at a Jazz Fest in Nola. 
Go-to Pizza topping: Arugula
Craziest Pizzas Made: Persian – chicken kubideh, saffron potatoes (tadeek style), marinated cucumber salad, shallot yogurt and sumac / Southeast Asain – shrimp, panang red curry, dressing of lime, chili and fish oil finished with crispy shallots
Key Kitchen Tools: Microplane, Nice Blender “you can do anything with a nice blender” 
Key Kitchen Advice: “Don’t be afraid of the heat” and emphasizes the importance of searing – “don’t touch the food until it is ready- listen to your food, it will tell you when it is ready” and“If food comes out bad, don’t always blame yourself, it could be a bad recipe”

We ended up trying three pizzas – I left it up to Chef Brad to decide and we tried the Simple Pie, BBQ Chicken (grilled chicken, mozzarella, red onion, banana peppers, gorgonzola, bbq sauce drizzleand the White Top (white cream sauce with mozzarella, applewood bacon, chopped garlic, oregano, arugula). Being the purist that I am – my favorite was the Simple Pie or Margherita (which if you want it the way I had you will have to give them instructions – but it will be well worth the effort). Surprisingly the BBQ came in at a close second. I say surprisingly because of my strong dislike for gorgonzola but it was put on sparingly which gave it a slight tang that paired perfectly with the drizzle of BBQ.
I also got to sample the s'mores. If you choose to get one of these delicious bites make sure you ask for them to heat it up so the chocolate and marshmallow gets gooey and delicious. What makes these stand out is that instead of graham crackers Chef Brad decided to used digestive crackers which go amazingly with chocolate (I spent a summer abroad eating these for breakfast everyday…whoops)!
Don't worry - I didn't forget how to tell you how to ask them to make the Margherita pizza. To start off you need to ask them to take 1 1/2 halves of mozzarella and ask them to break it off around the pizza. Next ask them to put dollops of red sauce on the crust. Then sprinkle some parmesan on top and put basil leaves around the pie. If you are feeling it you can have them sprinkle some oregano on top and then thats it! Be prepared for amazingness. 

Would I come back? Yes - pizza in 4 minutes? Delicious - I recommend the Margherita but I'm interested in trying their spicy tomato sauce next time!

7101 Democracy Blvd
Besthesda, MD
Blaze Pizza on Urbanspoon

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