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The Scoop: Pizza takeover brings Garage Bar chef Michael Paley to Pastaria

November 20th 12:11pm, 2013

112013_pastaria{Pastaria chef Gerard Craft, Garage Bar chef Michael Paley}


Acclaimed chef Michael Paley of Garage Bar in Louisville, Ken., and Metropole in Cincinnati, Ohio, is in town today. That’s because tonight, Nov. 20, Pastaria chef-owner Gerard Craft will hand the reins to Paley for the restaurant’s first pizza takeover.

At this one-night-only chef switch, guests can experience Paley’s three-course menu of antipasti, pizza and gelato. “I’m doing three appetizers, three pizzas and three ice creams,” Paley said. “I provided the recipes, and I’ll be there to run the staff through each dish.” Look for Paley to work the line and also walk the floor and chat with guests.

Paley explained that the antipasti and pizzas are ones served at Garage Bar, a pizzeria where he tries “to reinterpret Louisville staples or southern specialties.” Rolled oysters, one of the apps available this evening, is “a classic Louisville dish” made famous at a now defunct restaurant in that city, Paley said.

Although the pizzas will be made with Pastaria’s dough recipe, toppings are all Paley’s creations. White Pie & Greens is “my attempt at a salad in a pizza,” said Paley of the combination of mixed greens tossed in a lemon vinaigrette, plus fresh ricotta, fior di latte and Parmigiano. Pumpkin Pie, with its roasted butternut squash purée topped with cheeses, pickled onion, chopped pecans and fried sage, boasts the flavors of fall. Finally, the Sausage Pie features Paley’s house-made bison fennel sausage.

The selection of ice creams for the event – bittersweet chocolate and sea salt sorbet, vanilla rosemary orange, and walnut espresso – gets inspiration not from Garage Bar (where soft serve is dished out) but from Metropole.

Craft noted one reason he organized the pizza takeover is that it allows his cooks “to work through [Paley’s] recipes and learn in the process.” He hopes Paley’s takeover will be the first in a bimonthly guest-chef series and said he was in the midst of organizing visits from Lachlan Patterson of Pizzeria Locale in Boulder, Colo., and chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of Hog & Hominy in Memphis, Tenn. “I’m trying to get it off the ground so that in the future, it’s happening pretty regularly,” Craft said.

This is Paley’s first pizza takeover. He noted that while he hasn’t hosted one at Garage Bar, “I would love to have Gerard come and do the same thing I’m doing here.” No reservations are accepted for this three-course meal, priced at $28 per person, and Pastaria’s standard menu also will be available this evening.



By Ligaya Figueras

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