When you think of pizza meccas, we'll bet dollars to garlic knots you think of New York, Chicago and, of course, Naples, from whence came the delightful chow. (Let's just forget about California, shall we?) Dallas should be added to the list. Yes, the Big D!
Il Cane Rosso (www.ilcanerosso.com), a mobile-food vendor of Neapolitan-style pizza has been technically slinging pies since October 2008. That month, owner Jay Jerrier, who is also an investing partner in Campania Pizza in Southlake, catered Greenhill School's Friday on the Hill fall carnival. The trailer remained idle until March 2009, when "I connected with Kert Platner at times ten cellars in Lakewood, and he thought a 'pizza night' would be fun at the winery," Jerrier recalls. "We started a regular Wednesday night routine there and the business just exploded. We did a lot of catering events during the rest of that year." Since January, he and his team have gone gung-ho, parking the trailer at times ten cellars Wednesdays and Chocolate Angel Too Thursdays through Saturday beginning at 5 p.m. and serving until the dough runs out. The staff at Chocolate Angel Too even dons Il Cane Rosso shirts.
Jerrier has such a dedication to the art of pizza that he studied Italian and trained in Italy with pizzaioli (certified master pizza makers) from the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana. Naturally, when one has a passion for something, sharing it is the next step. "If people could really try a close approximation of 'real' pizza, many would have that same 'holy crap moment' I did back in 1995 when I was in Italy." Jerrier decided food trucking as a matter of simple economics. "It's much cheaper to start up a quick mobile business than to build out a restaurant. It also gives me a great deal of flexibility to test out different areas of the city to find out where this style of pizza plays well."
The oven, fired with Texas hardwood, reaches a temperature of 900 F and cooks the gourmet made-to-order--and amazing--pies in less than two minutes. Pizzas on offer range from the classic Margherita (San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil) to the elaborate Capricciosa (San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, prosciuotto cotto, artichokes, olives, mushrooms and basil). Every pie on the menu comes with the requisite charred edges that give the crust its bite but leaves the interior soft.
Jerrier goes to great lengths to provide his customers with a top-notch product. His salumi, which are traditionally cured - not cooked - meats made from certified Berkshire Pork, is sourced from Salumeria Biellese in New York City and distributed locally by Winn Meats. The tomato sauce is from imported, manually crushed DOP San Marzano tomatoes. The dough is made from imported "Double Zero" Italian flour. But not everything travels from far away.
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"I've managed to find some good suppliers/distributors around town. I get all of my sausage from Jimmy's in East Dallas. The fresh mozzarella, fior di latte, is made daily from purchased curd. There are great ingredients to be had--it's just a lot of work to find them and get them on a regular basis. I also just built some raised planting beds at our home and am going to give some organic Neapolitan basil a shot," Jerrier said.
Simply put, these pizzas are the real deal, with eight slices primed for sharing, though the first bite weakens the will to do so.
times ten cellars
6324 Prospect Ave.
Chocolate Angel Too
11909 Preston Rd.