Pizza at Jacks

You Had Me at Pizza

We had the chance recently to sit down with Danny Abbruzzese, Executive Chef at Jacks Monterey here at the Portola Hotel and talked all things artisan pizza. As a huge fan of the pizza pie, and a self-proclaimed – connoisseur, I can speak from firsthand experience – the pizzas at Jacks Monterey are completely original, and definitely some of the best I’ve ever tasted (gotta love that thin, crispy crust).

Brick Pizza Oven

Brick Pizza oven at Portola Hotel


Q:      What is your in Inspiration behind pizza?

A:    I like to stick with traditional flavors incorporating, fresh, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.


Q:   OK, tell me about your dough recipe?

A:   When developing our pizza menu, we tried out 15 different recipes – we decided to feature a classic Neapolitan-style, with a light crispy crust, which we cook at 715 degrees for 115 seconds until crust is crispy.


Q:    I noticed some of your ingredients are quite unique and there is an obvious freshness in both appearance and taste to your ingredients, tell me more.

A:   When selecting our ingredients, as I mentioned before, we are really looking to highlight fresh, local, seasonal ingredients even when it comes to our cheese, sauce and meat selections. We are currently using a wonderful, low moisture fresh, made to order mozzarella; DOP (protected designation of origin); complemented by San Marzano tomatoes; Molinari of San Francisco cured meats; and local peak season produce.


Q:     What type of pizza oven are you using?

A:   After attending a pizza making workshop in Washington DC, where I went through an intensive training on dough and cooking techniques, I began to research a variety of oven types.            When looking for the best of the best in pizza ovens, we chose the Marra Forni Neapolitan Brick oven-oven. This oven rotates and reaches temperature of over 1000 degrees – in turn providing true Neapolitan-style pizzas for our guest.


Q:    Can you share with our Central Coast Living readers, any new recipes on the horizon?

A:   Yes! Be on the lookout for our fresh, baked sandwiches and of course seasonal inspired pizzas. I invite all to join us at Jacks Monterey and experience our California Cultural Cuisine and of course, the best pizzas in Monterey!

Pizza from Portola Hotel Pizza from Portola Hotel

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