Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Green Spotlight on… Pizza by Certe

Chef Ed of Pizza by Certe on WPIX11 Discussing the GreenBox and Preparing Breakfast Pizza

On E56th St. in New York City, just off of the food wasteland that is Park Avenue sits a hidden little gem that is deserving of attention:  Pizza by Certe, a 3-Star Green Restaurant Certified pizzeria opened by Chef Edward Sylvia almost two years ago to this day.  When we first we met Mr. Sylvia, or Chef Ed as he is more affectionately known, he already had a successful eatery/catering company under his belt in restaurant Certe (located on E55th between 5th & 6th).  But, Chef Ed had a dream – the genesis of which was the time he spent as a teen on a farm in Southern Illinois.  That dream was to open a sustainable pizzeria that used locally sourced ingredients.

To that end, Chef Ed created Pizza by Certe, the first LEED Gold pizza parlor, with recycled walls, millwork from wheat, and recycled bottle countertops.  Chef Ed uses utensils and paper goods that are biodegradable, drinking cups and containers made from resin derived entirely from plants and (most notably!) our 100% recycled, multifunctional GreenBox pizza box.  And Chef Ed even goes a step further by composting all food waste, making all deliveries by foot or hybrid truck and using rainwater for non-consumption purposes.

And then there’s the food…  Non-bromated flour. That’s step one:  Chef Ed sticks with the non-bromated stuff given that potassium bromate has been banned in Europe, Canada, and Japan and flagged in California as a suspected carcinogen.  No cans. That’s step two:  Chef Ed’s sauce is made purely from fresh tomatoes.  Fresh cheese. That’s step three:  Chef Ed uses fresh whole milk mozzarella from local cheese makers, fresh hand-dipped Ricotta, and American grana that he grates fresh for every order.  Fresh toppings.  That's step four (and les pieces de resistance):  Chef Ed uses toppings sourced locally where possible, as evidenced by the fresh basil he uses from the “green” wall in his restaurant.

A small tasting of Chef Ed’s many unique specialty pizza options will make anyone a believer in using fresh, local ingredients:  The “Shrooms,” covered with roasted wild mushrooms, porcini bechamel and thyme, is absolute heaven.  The “Buffalo Artichoke,” with buffalo roasted artichoke, farmers blue cheese and celery hearts, is outrageously good.  The “Farmer’s Slice,” with long island potato, sharp amish cheddar, shaved corn and scallions, is pure brilliance.  The “Italian Wedding,” topped with juicy, light meatballs; spinach, grana cheese, fresh mozzarella and hot pepper, is just plain divine.  Chef Ed’s breakfast pizza, which he prepares in our WPIX11 video clip (paying homage to the GreenBox in the process!) is one of our personal faves, but then again, so are all of them.  We could go on, but you get the picture.

So next time you find yourself in Midtown East and (therefore) in culinary despair, drop into Pizza by Certe.  And say hello to Chef Ed from the folks at GreenBoxNY!

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