Chef's Blog

Solage Calistoga's Executive Chef Brandon Sharp shares his passion for cooking, life and all things Napa Valley.

December 4, 2010

The Accidental Wino

“Hands down, the Maitake mushroom pizza at Solbar is the Napa Valley’s best up-valley option for great pizza, and it’s the only pizza available on the Silverado Trail, as far as I know. The dough at Solbar is based upon a biga-style starter, which cultivates and propagates the yeasts, developing a more complex flavor within the crust. Traditionally, Italian bakers use a biga starter for making ciabatta bread, and Solbar’s pizza crust definitely features some ciabatta-like characteristics within the crumb. The pizza dough is made without sugar, ensuring a relatively light color, even after the dough has finished cooking. In terms of the pizza toppings, I also admire the simplicity of the maitake mushrooms and the cave-aged gruyere, which both lend an earthy-nutty component to the pie.”

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