There's nothing wrong with faithfully recreated Neapolitan classics, but sometimes you want to add a little fun to your pizza routine. At Denver's two Pizzeria Locale eateries — at 550 Broadway and 3484 West 32nd Avenue — culinary director Jordan Wallace is mixing things up a little. This month, the fast-casual pizzeria chain launched a guest-chef program that will feature chef specials, with a portion of their sales going to local charitable organizations.
And although October is nearly over, it's not too late to get in on this month's special. Wallace brought in Josh Pollack, founder of Rosenberg's Bagels & Deli, to design something a little different. Pollack took inspiration from his New Jersey roots and created a Hawaiian pizza — only with Taylor Pork Roll instead of Canadian bacon. Taylor ham is an East-Coast favorite made from a recipe that dates back to the mid-1800s, Wallace explains; it's commonly found sliced thick, grilled and stuffed into breakfast sandwiches, but Pollack and Wallace decided to slice it paper-thin so that it could pick up a little char in Locale's high-temperature oven.
In addition to the pork roll, chunks of fresh pineapple (Wallace felt that canned pineapple was too sweet), roasted red peppers and fresh arugula top the pie. Combined with Pizzeria Locale's tomato sauce, mozzarella and wheaty crust, Pollack's Hawaiian is a bright and fresh alternative to typical sweet and heavy versions. The pizza is available for $7.50 at both locations and a portion of sales will go toward Project Angel Heart this month.
So far, sales of the Hawaiian have exceeded expectations — so much so that Wallace has decided to keep it on the menu. After October, the recipe will change slightly — prosciutto cotto will take the place of the Taylor pork roll and the arugula and red pepper will be left off. He's also scouting for his next guest chef and hopes to roll out a new collaboration sometime this winter.
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