Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Pizza Smackdown @ Yak Italian Kitchen and Bar

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Yak Italian Kitchen and Bar.
Yak recently hosted a pizza competition to end all pizza competitions.

Taking inspiration from the great competitions in Italy which were always held in a town square, chefs of all calibre would compete against one another and cook a pizza on large paddles which would then be judged. A victor would be announced and the pizza shared amongst the crowds.
Gathering some of Melbourne’s favourite chefs from around Melbourne to stand side by side; Leo and the team at Yak celebrated eight of Melbourne's top chefs competing against each other to come up with the "Ultimate Pizza". 

The winning pizza will be placed on Yak Italian Kitchen’s menu, along with their name and venue’s details.
#1 Cricket pizza 
Beer match: Magnalotti “Doppio Malto”

Created by Florent Garadin (Silo) the pizza featured classic flavour combinations … and then there was the cricket. Served in its entirety (as you can see, the crickets were placed without any alteration to its exoskeleton). It was an interesting pizza and certainly showcased Florent’s creative spirit.
#2 Black truffle pizza
Beer match: Birra Dell’ Eremo “Golden Ale”

Created by Matthew Macartney (Eleanore’s – Chateau Yering), the black truffle pizza was a decadent pizza with generous toppings of dehydrated anchovies, gruyere, parmesan, mozzarella, roasted Jerusalem artichokes and basil chips. We loved the sweetness of the Jerusalem artichokes which contrasted with the savoury anchovies.
#3 Japanese pizza
Beer match: Birra Dell’ Eremo “IPA”

Created by Brendan McQueen (Matteo’s) the Japanese pizza was an absolute delight. Bursting at the seams with umami, the pizza danced a little bonito flake dance as it settled itself upon our table. We loved this delicious pizza version of okonomiyaki.  
Matteo's Restaurant on Urbanspoon
#4 Smoked duck, ham, kimchi & prawn floss pizza
Beer match: La Petrognola “Artigianale Di Farro”

Created by Michael Harrison (Allium Food & Wine), this was our personal favourite pizza of the night. With a miso and tomato base, the pizza was filled with deliciously smoked ham which matched the spicy, slightly tart kimchi perfectly. It was a match made in pizza heaven.
 Allium Food and Wine on Urbanspoon
#5 Smoked clams, n'duja & guanciale pizza
Beer match: Birra Dell’ Eremo “Amber Ale”

Created by Nick Bennett (Arbory Bar & Eatery), the Smoked clams, n'duja & guanciale pizza was a classic combination of flavours that worked wonders. 
#6 Hoisin pork pizza
Beer match: Eggenberg Pils

Created by Jerry Mai (Pho Num), the hoisin pork pizza was memorable for its amazing pork crackling which has us fighting for the last piece.
#7 Sobrasada pizza
Beer match: Birra Dell’ Eremo “Blanche”

Created by Jacque Turner (Bellota), the sobrasada was an outstanding pizza. Rich and decadent, the pizza was topped with expertly judged toppings of goats curd, sobrasada, red anchovies, pickled green chilli, salsa verde, jamon and bellota smoked ham – genius!
Bellota on Urbanspoon
#8 Dessert Pizza
Beer match: Matilda Bay Dogbolter “Dark Lager”

Created by Pierrick Boyer (Le Petit Gateau), the dessert pizza was a deliciously sweet end to the pizza smack down. A clever combination of peanut butter and jelly with vanilla and mascarpone, it was a pizza that evoked childhood memories but also demonstrated restraint and elegance.
Le Petit Gateau on Urbanspoon

And the winners are…
(in no particular order)

  • Michael Harrison, "Allium Food & Wine" (duck, ham, kimchi & prawn floss)
  • Nick Bennet, "Arbory Bar and Eatery" (smoked clams, n'duja & guanciale)
  • Pierrick Boyer "Le Petit Gâteau" (mascarpone, raspberry, peanuts, dark chocolate & praline)

These 3 pizzas will be placed on Yak Italian Kitchen’s menu for all to enjoy.

What: 3 new pizzas on Yak Italian Kitchen’s menu
Where: 150 Flinders Lane (corner Russell St), Melbourne

Yak Italian Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

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