By Jonathan Hatchman, Food Editor, @TLE_Food
Six-time World Pizza Champion, Bruno DiFabio is already well known and loved at home in the US, with 10 artisan Pizzerias to his name across the pond. And now, Bruno is finally set to open his first London restaurant – NY Fold – at the weekend (July 3rd). So with the grand opening just around the corner, we caught up with the Chef for a chat about Pizza, his new restaurant, and new joint venture with Sean Brauser – Pizza Fire.
To start off, you’re opening a new restaurant this month. Why London? And why now?
We chose London because it is an extremely underserved market for Pizza in general, but especially NY Pizza. I could not pass up the opportunity as stars aligned at the right time for this project.
What can we Londoners expect from NY Fold?
Londoners can expect a cutting edge, and trendy restaurant interior/exterior with NYC street photography. They can also expect the most authentic NY pizza this side of the pond. Pizza is flavorful, light, crispy, airy, and very digestible. Well-seasoned sauce, and a heavy hand of whole Milk Mozzarella. All raw materials are local, organic and domestic when possible. [The] Dough is made on premises daily and uses a Mother Dough from wildly foraged Yeast.
We’ve heard that you’re planning on opening some more London restaurants, is that right?
I do have confidence and fully expect to be reasonable successful here in London, so yes I do expect to open more. But in doing so, we will not lose our artisanal, and independent creativity.
How’s everything been going with the preparations for this restaurant?
Everything has gone smoothly but that is only because we have been planning for almost two years. We worked on sourcing materials for quite a while and because of this the development of recipes and products have gone extremely well for a new restaurant.
What’s your favourite Pizza topping?
My favorite Pizza topping is just Sauce and Cheese. We call it a plain slice and in NY we go into a Pizzeria and simply say “Let me get a slice!” That’s how you should order it when you come to NY Fold. On the menu it is called Margherita, but if you want instant street cred here at NY Fold order it like as if you were in NYC.
And the strangest topping that you’ve ever eaten?
The strangest topping that I have ever eaten or put on a Pizza that I have made is “Rocky Mountain Oysters”. So if you know anything about geography in the US, you know that there are no Oysters in the mountains. “Rocky Mountain Oysters” are Bull’s testicles. They look like oysters in a raw state, and lets just say its an acquired taste.
When at home, what’s your favourite meal to cook?
Most times the honest answer is boring. I have three different Pizza ovens at home. So the sad and boring truth is that at home we experiment quite often with different Dough styles, Flours, and ingredients. Most recently I have made Dough with Bee Pollen.
And when you’re sick of Pizza, where’s your favourite place to eat?
I am a big fan of artisanal young chefs who have just recently gone out on their own out of the shadows of mentors and big ego chefs. They are the ones who do not care about money (YET) and just want to cook their food. I will most of the time look out for these types of restaurants. If you need a big named restaurant that I love it is La Pergola in Rome. Heinz Beck for me is Europe’s greatest chef, and they are only open five nights and he touches most every dish that comes out of the kitchen.
NY Fold aside, what’s next for you as a chef?
I am launching a new venture with my best friend in the US call Pizza Fire. Sean Brauser, who owns 34 Pizzerias, and I have created a fast, casual, made on demand Pizza concept similar to that of Chipotle. Where the Pizza is made right in front of your eyes, and cooked in less then 3 minutes.
NY Fold is set to open on Friday July 3rd and can be found at 103 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT.