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Primo & Secondo's Roberto Stabile Talks Pizza

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Photo: Primo & Secondo

Roberto Stabile seems to fly under the radar in Montreal but he may be one of the most consistent chefs in the city. His Marché Jean-Talon-adjacent restaurant, Primo & Secondo, has been a solid Little Italy performer since 2002. And while the chef may be best known for his talent with pasta, polenta and veal, Stabile has strong opinions when it comes to pizza.

Customers will soon be able to put that know-how to the test, thanks to this announcement from Stabile on Facebook yesterday: "You can now pre-order our new specialty, La Pizza Stabile, when you make your reservation. Enjoy."

The chef sent Eater Montreal some inside info about this "Pizza Stabile."

Basically a couple of years ago I met one the best pizza-makers in North America, Roberto Caporusio from Kesté and Don Antonio in New York City and his mentor Don Antonio from Starita in Naples, which has been around for over 100 years - he's the real master. I spent a couple of weeks with Roberto and Antonio in New York learning not just about making pizza but the history, the water, salt, humidity and cooking in a wood-burning oven at 900 degrees.
For me it wasn't about opening up a pizzeria in Montreal. I just wanted to learn something new, so I played around trying to master my dough but I didn't have an oven able to reach 900 degrees, soI looked at another master of pizza - this time Roman Pizza. His name is Gabriele Bonci from Bonci in Rome, which is more in the focaccia-style with fresh toppings baked at a lower temp. After years of trying both versions I came up with my own with the help of Daniel Jobin from Joe la Croûte, which is a little bit of each version but using a mother dough and organic flour and resting the dough for 24 hours. There you have La Pizza Stabile.
I don't know if I hit on something but people seem to enjoy it and I'm just going with it. Right now I make it simple because I'm not a pizzeria so it's basically topped with DOP San Marzano tomatoes, basil and fior di latte, finished off with cherry tomatoes and at times with prosciutto and arugula. The dough is basic: water, salt, mother yeast, organic flour and rest for 24 hours.

But wait, there's more.

I'm also doing a pizza fritta, which is a fried pizza - yes fried pizza - topped with tomato and basil and smoked mozzarella.

You can order Stabile's pizza upon reservation at Primo & Secondo.

· Primo & Secondo [Official Site]