Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950s, Michael Brunetti spent Sunday evenings beside his Neaopolitan father, making homemade pizza for their family of 10, a late evening snack after a large family meal earlier in the day. Fast forward several decades and Michael stands beside his own son Jason making pizzas with the same care and quality for an extended family of patrons at Pizzetteria Brunetti, possibly the smallest, most obscurely located pizza place in America. My husband's family has a beach house nearby (and my husband loves pizza more than anyone I know) and it still took us two summers to find the place, even though it's located in the very small town of Westhampton Beach, New York. Finally one day we stumbled upon it by pure chance--in back of a trio of shops, without even its own front door. We walked through a Haagen-Dazs to find in the back a bar counter with about five stools, a sliver of a prep area and a giant, bellowing wood oven named Bella. Into Bella's fiery belly went hand-formed dough topped with carefully constructed medleys of ingredients. Ninety seconds later out came pillowy pies oozey with cheese atop a just-charred-enough crust. Mmmmm!
For Michael, this is the realization of a dream to return to the old world values of slow food, fresh ingredients and an artisanal approach to cooking. For Jason, making pizzas is all about the customers eating them, the "expression on someone's face when they take that first bite. Their pupils get dilated and they say, 'What's happening here?!' and I reply, 'You're eating real pizza.'"
For me, the best part of Pizzetteria Brunetti is the love Michael and Jason put into their food and the joy they show working side by side, father and son, as they make a whole lotta pizza lovers very happy. Click the video above and get a taste of that yourself.
Next post: Michael and Jason Brunetti's pizza secrets.
ABOUT THE CHEFS:
Michael and Jason Brunetti are the father/son chefs and owners behind Pizzetteria Brunetti. They left other careers to become certified pizzaiolis and share their love and passion for authentic, artisanal Neapolitan pizza. Their pies have been named best of Long Island's East End and featured in publications like Hamptons Magazine, Newsday and the New York Times
ABOUT THE RESTAURANT:
Filmed on location at
103 Main Street
Westhampton Beach, NY 11978
ABOUT THE SERIES:
"Pizza Secrets" is the third episode of Chef Secrets for Home Cooks, a new series from Style Maniac that brings the tips, tricks and techniques of top chefs into your kitchen. Watch the videos on the new Style Maniac YouTube channel, plus find out more on accompanying posts on this blog.
Photos and video by Doreen Creede / Style Maniac. PRODUCTION NOTE: This segment came about so impromptu that I shot it entirely on my iPhone!
"Use the good china for breakfast."