Niimori: my Japanese pizza

The chef from Sushi B tested himself with a topping for Denis Lovatel’s dough. Here’s his story

01-12-2016

How can you combine pizza making with Japanese culinary tradition? Chef Nobuya Niimori, of Sushi B in Milan, recently tried to do this, creating the Tori No Teriyaki pizza (see photo). He wrote about his experience for Identità Golose. The piece will also be part of Identità di Pizza, the newsletter Identità dedicates to this sector. In order to receive it regularly (for free) just sign up here

Chef and pizza, a topic we’ve been analysing in depth. We’ve already written about great Italian chefs (Ugo Alciati, Moreno Cedroni, Nino Di Costanzo, Andrea Mattei, Peter Brunel) who are working with dough and toppings. Today we change point of view and move to Japan, or actually to Milan. Here Japanese chef Nobuya Niimori is at work at Sushi B. He wanted to tell us in his own words (see below) how he approached this unusual world. This happened recently at Ferrowine in Castelfranco Veneto which hosted Italo Bassi, Eugenio Boer, Alba Esteve Ruiz and Francesco Brutto, all at work to create the ideal topping for the crispy base made by pizza chef Denis Lovatel from Da Ezio in Alano di Piave (Belluno). We’re happy to welcome this piece by Niimori. (Carlo Passera)

In the photo, left to right, Michela Ferro of Ferrowine, Italo Bassi, Andrea Valentinetti of d&g patisserie, the other chefs Niimori, Brutto, Boer, Esteve Ruiz, Lovatel and Giovanni Ferro of Ferrowine

In the photo, left to right, Michela Ferro of Ferrowine, Italo Bassi, Andrea Valentinetti of d&g patisserie, the other chefs Niimori, Brutto, Boer, Esteve Ruiz, Lovatel and Giovanni Ferro of Ferrowine

«Working with pizza was great fun. I met Denis Lovatel in the spring, when he had lunch at Sushi B and he told me about this idea. I tasted his pizza, which is very light and crispy, and enjoyed it very much, so I decided to test myself in a field I had never experimented.

Chef Nobuya Niimori

Chef Nobuya Niimori

I wanted to add my cuisine to the pizza. The latter, contrary to other Japanese restaurants in Italy, has a strong traditional component. Hence I chose a great classic in Japanese cuisine, teriyaki chicken, cooked in the traditional way. Chicken goes well with a cheese like buffalo milk mozzarella from Paestum and with pizza. I just paired it with mozzarella from Paestum and some seasonal vegetables seasoned with a dressing we often use at my restaurant Sushi B. The vegetables are blanched, but remain very crispy, so as to remind the crispiness typical of Denis’s pizza.

Nobuya Niimori at work at Ferrowine

Nobuya Niimori at work at Ferrowine

On Monday, the other week, we cooked this pizza together for almost 100 people during a special dinner Denis organised at Ferrowine, a beautiful winebar in Castelfranco Veneto. It was a great challenge because Japanese cuisine is also based on absolutely precise cuts and dish aesthetics. And at that moment it was hardly easy. I tried to preserve these characteristics also thanks to the other chefs who participated that night and I believe the guests appreciated our Tori No Teriyaki very much».


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