Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Stephen Starr's Pizza Research Gets Him A Plug In The New York Times

the margherita pie at lucali in brooklyn
The margherita pizza at Lucali in Brooklyn, favored by Team Starr | Photo via New York Times

Shrewd.

Inviting Rick Nichols to shadow him on a recent pizza-eating research trip to Connecticut and New York.

That's good PR.

And The New York Times noticed.

Today, Frank Bruni, their chief restaurant critic, comments on the current pizza craze and "assesses eight of the notable artisanal pizzerias that have sprung up in recent years around New York City — a town obsessed with pizza."

And Starr got a mention.
The flashiest restaurateurs want in on pizza; so do some of the most classically trained, critically acclaimed chefs.

Stephen Starr, the owner of Buddakan and an owner of Morimoto, two of the grandest and gaudiest Asian restaurants in downtown Manhattan, has lately spent much of his time in New York eating his way through the city’s older and newer pizza parlors, on a gut-busting mission to figure out what works best and how to replicate it in Philadelphia, his base.
Bruni also weighs in on why upscale pizza places are so popular right now. And for that he turns to a familiar source.
Over recent weeks I visited those restaurants and others that belong to this current chapter in pizza worship. [...] I paid special attention to places less than a year old. There are scads of them.

Why?

“The economy the way it is, pizza’s perfect,” said Mr. Starr, who noted that pizza is relatively gentle on the budgets of consumers and providers.

“I have training at high altitude, with all these big restaurants,” he said, “and this seems a lot easier — less money, less pressure. You’re concentrating on one thing rather than sous-chefs and pastry chefs.”
Stephen Starr dropping know how. No big deal.

Related:
Critic’s Notebook - The Cult of the Artisanal Pizza [ New York Times ]
The New Generation of Pizzerias [ New York Times ]

Previously:
Stephen Starr Does More Pizza-Eating Research For His Forthcoming Pizza Restaurant In Philadelphia

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