Most of us consider pizza to be a treat of some kind. Perhaps a family favourite on movie night, an indulgence on cheat day or a quick solution for comfort food. There is, however, much more to pizza than the choice between thick or thin base or whether you would enjoy a topping of the much-debated pineapple or the considered-to-be-sophisticated capers.
For the Italians, there is an art to making pizza but, it was after having the pizza of his life by chef Christian Puglisi in Copenhagen's Baest restaurant, that Chef Eric Bulpitt realised what pizza could be. Since then he has endeavored to elevate pizza as we know it. And as with all things, it comes down to getting the basics right and not to over complicate it.
In a time when we can all do with some reassurance and care, Chef Eric has introduced a new menu at Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant. Expect comfort food, hearty winter fare and yes, pizza - but pizza on a whole new level. Pierneef's pizzas are based on what is known as Neopolitan-style. While the authentic version only allows raw tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil as a topping, it really is the crust that sets this version apart from other pizzas.
The proper and authentic artisan traditions of making Neapolitan pizza is certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) that was founded in 1984 in Naples, Italy where the pizza Napoletana originated. To comply with certification, one of the most important requirements lies in the making of the crust. Neapolitan dough is made with "00" flour, a very fine Italian flour, fresh yeast, water and salt. Chef Eric makes his with sourdough that proofs for 48 hours! The result is a thin, but soft crust. The pizzas are also cooked at a very high temperature resulting in what Chef Eric calls a "leopard print" - charred spots on the crust.
Putting a chef's spin on the pizzas, a variety of toppings using seasonal farm produce are available. Expect interesting combinations such as Stinging nettle, confit garlic and boerenkaas, Sour cream, smoked pork and spring onions or Orange winter pumpkin, pumpkin seeds and Gorgonzola.
Available between 09:00 and 16:00 on Saturdays and Sundays, these delicious flatbreads (R85 each) make for a delicious snack or light lunch. Join us on La Motte - thaw on the stoep or in the garden when the sun is out or cosy up in front of the welcoming fireplace - and enjoy an introduction to pizza with an artist's touch.
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