Thursday, May 24, 2012

Aria Pizza: Pizzas are made with tender love and care

In the Philippines, pizzas are just some of the most popular dishes that many Filipinos enjoy eating. At home, if we have pizza along with our regular dishes on a weekend, my kids would easily snub other delicacies and choose to eat pizza instead. On occasions when we’d have the chance to eat outside, a pizza hub is always the resto of choice, even if it would take a longer time ordering the food item compared to fast food.

A couple of days ago, I was fortunate to be invited to a fairly new, authentic Italian restaurant located in the heart of BGC which it is starting to gain popularity when it comes to pizza. Aria Cucina Italiana, a familiar name for those who already visited their branch in Boracay, is likewise beginning to be the talk of the town among foodies and resto enthusiasts around the metro.

 One of Aria's best-sellers...

The media event was not the typical food tasting activity where we simply get to eat Aria’s bestseller pizzas. Rather, we actually had the rare opportunity to make the pizza ourselves! The Make Your Own Pizza Event was graced and hosted by Aria’s owners, husband and wife Mr. Juan Elizalde and Ms. Bianca Araneta-Elizalde.

 Aria owners, Mr. Juan Elizalde and Bianca Araneta-Elizalde

One of Aria's VIP guests and friend, Ms. Corie Quirino

There were about 25 food bloggers and media guests who took part in the pizza making session. Chef Marino, the resident chef of Aria, is actually from Chiavari, Italy where the famous pizza ingredient, pesto, was born. He shares that the secret ingredient to a good tasting pizza is “CARE”. “You have to care when you choose the right ingredient, care as you make the dough and care when you make your pizza”. From his statement, I suddenly realized why pizzas take a longer time to order. The cook gives extra care in making each one of them.

 Chef Marino of Chiavari, Italy

Aria's kitchen staff under the close supervision of Chef Marino

 In batches of eight, we were set on a Laboratorio, as Chef Marino would call it, where all the ingredients and the dough are placed for us to play with. Without any instructions, we dug in to some of the most delicious pizza ingredients I have tasted and placed it on the dough as creative as I can without any thought that I might put in too much of everything. As it turned out, my pizza became overloaded with too much sauce and made it too soggy. In short, it was rejected and it can’t be cooked. Too frustrated and hungry, I just asked slices of pizzas from those whose creations turned out ok.

 Me, getting another take of my famous Chicken Hawaiian Cheese Overload

After another group had their turn making their pizza, Chef Marino took pity on me and told me to try again and gave me another dough. Fresh from my previous mistake, I made sure to carefully place the ingredients in moderate quantity and not to abuse the dough with tomato sauce anymore. To be doubly sure, I spread additional flour on the wooden plank to absorb any moisture from the sauce so it would easily slide from the paddle to the custom built brick-oven.

Jeman's Shrimp and Mushroom galore

Almost didn't make it to the brick-oven, but it did...

After a few minutes, it was done. My first Aria pizza was out fresh from the oven and I was so proud I finally made it right the second time. I was too full from the slices I ate earlier, so I just took a slice and wrapped the rest and took it home for my boys who are all happen to be pizza lovers … just like their dad. 

 Ruth and another blogger friend with their finish products

ARIA Cucina Italiana Manila branch is located at Seventh Avenue, Bonifacio High streets, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. For inquiries you visit their website: Tel. 6230119; 6214111

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