Wednesday, March 14, 2007

First Nail in the Thin-Crust Coffin?

By John Birdsall
Wed, Mar 14, 2007 at 3:28 PM

An amuse-bouche in the Chronicle's "Inside Scoop" may be the first death knell for a dish that's fueled Bay Area restaurants for at least two years: high-end thin-crust pizza. In a teaser about Camino, a restaurant planning an Oakland launch a year from now, former Chez Panisse co-chef Russell Moore drops a big old bomb on the p-word. Here's the Chron: "Camino means road in Spanish and fireplace in Italian. And Camino's cooking will be all about the fireplace -- a huge, waist-high stone one that Moore plans to use for rustic dishes like lamb a la ficelle, baked fish, and lots of stuff cooked in cazuelas, with pots of beans bubbling in the coals. Just don't expect pizza. 'I have trained so many people to make pizza - I'm so tired of that,' he says. Among his trainees: Pizzaiolo's Charlie Hallowell, another Chez Panisse alum who beat Moore out of the nest."

Ouch. A year from now, when artisan pizza seems as tired as the fondue that was racking up food-writer buzz five years ago, you can say you were present for the first tentative smackdown.

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