How to Plate Pizza

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 77,153
    Pizza expert Ruth Gresser demonstrates how to plate pizza.

    Ruth Gresser

    Owner and chef Ruth Gresser grew up cooking with her mother, who owned a catering business in Baltimore, Md. Ms. Gresser cooked her way through Grinnell College in Iowa before moving to San Francisco, where she cooked for several years at Friends a Cafe and at Le Trou Robert. In 1987, she graduated summa cum laude from Madeleine Kamman's Classical and Modern French Cooking School in Glen, NH. She then moved to Washington, DC, where she has helped open four popular restaurants: Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont Circle, Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown, Blue Plate and Obelisk. Ms. Gresser has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the Women's Chefs and Restaurateurs Madeleine Kamman Scholarship and a guest chef appearance at Alice Waters' renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. She has also been profiled in The Washington Post Magazine, The Washington Business Journal and by Georgetown University Television. Ms. Gresser has been a chef demonstrator, contributor and panelist for The Smithsonian Institution and for FreshFarm Markets in Washington, DC. She is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.

    Hi, I am Ruth Gresser from Pizzeria Paradiso, we have been making pizza today, and here is some of what we made and cooked. We have the cheese pizza, we have the pesto and potato pizza, we have the vegetable pizza, and this pizza is the Margherita pizza. I am going to put a little bit more Parmesan cheese on the potato pizza, since it has come out of the oven, just as a little garnish. I am going to put some olive oil on these pizzas just to give them a little extra burst of flavor. As I said earlier I am not going to put any more olive oil on the cheese pizza, as you can see there is enough fat in this cheese that it doesn't need any extra olive oil. I have two tools here; I have the pizza cutting wheel, and just a regular chefs knife, either one will work on the pizza. I am going to cut the four cheese pizza using the chef's knife. You put the chef's knife on one side of the pizza and just start cutting, hold it with the heel of one hand on the top of the knife and just cut down. As you can see I have left the pizza on the peel to cut it, so that when you then go to serve the pizza, you can take your plate and can just slide the pizza right off the peel. Now, the other tool I have here is the pizza cutting wheel, and thats used by making a swift motion through the pizza. So, you cut into one side of the crust, and then just roll the wheel, pushing down towards the pizza peel, and as you can see, it cuts right through the pizza. Again, you cut through one edge of the pie, and then roll the wheel and cut through the other. Again, you have it on a pizza peel, so you can just slide it right off. Now, this pie is the pizza that I made in a convection oven. As you can see, it looks a little bit different than the pie that was made in the wood burning stove. The crust is not quite as dark, and the cheese as you can see is more cooked than when its cooked in the wood oven. Thats because the heat is so much higher in the wood burning oven that the crust can cook and brown, because it just gets such a burst of heat when you put the pizza into the oven that is not there on the conventional oven, so the pizza needs to cook longer, and therefore the cheese will cook to this point, rather than to this point. So, there you have several different pizzas. I hope that this has sparked your imagination. I hope that you found it interesting. If you have any questions, you can email me at [email protected], and in the meantime, have fun in the kitchen, and eat your pizza.