Brian Mercury and Marc Sheehan Brings Comfort With These 2 Pizzas

By Amelia Schwartz | Will Blunt

By

Amelia Schwartz
Will Blunt
Chef Brian Mercury of Puritan & Company
Chef Brian Mercury of Puritan & Company

During such a chaotic time, few foods provide comfort like the noble pizza. It’s also a great way to utilize that sourdough starter many chefs took home to feed like a class pet during the lockdown. “My wife’s favorite food is pizza,” says Pastry Chef Brian Mercury of Puritan & Company. “We could eat pizza every day and not be upset.” But after being furloughed, Mercury decided to avoid delivery fees by creating his own pies. For hours, he watched Youtube videos of heavy Italian men tossing dough, and settled on a Roman-Sicilian hybrid.

The 24-hour fermented dough becomes focaccia-like, but thinner, more sour, and with an airy, open crumb. Assembly: cheese first (ricotta, parm, mozz), followed by San Marzano tomato sauce, and, lastly, basil and garlic. Now that Puritan & Co. is back in service, guests can order Mercury’s pizza every Thursday. While Mercury’s pizza was a want, Chef Marc Sheehan’s pizza was a need. “I struggled with not having been home to cook dinner in ten years,” says the Loyal Nine chef.” With limited equipment and ingredients, Sheehan turned to the upside-down cast iron pizza. He starts with the toppings, like leftover cabbage and potatoes sautéed in beef fat, then adds mozz (or whatever), and caps it with a yeasted rye dough, just ’cause. Bake it. Flip it. Slice it.

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