Jack Perkins beats to a different drummer. This is a fact that he well embraces, and quite possibly the key to his success at Maple & Motor Burger. Perkins has met with his share of controversy, mostly surrounding his role as task master at the burger Mecca. Having rules in place keeps Jack’s house in order, especially during fast paced lunches when lines etch outside and around the building as local burger devotees anticipate their favorite nooner.
It is because of his character and place in the restaurant landscape that Perkins was recently invited into the fold of chefs that are participating in Cane Rosso’s Industry Night. We reported on this some weeks ago as owner Jay Jerrier announced that he would host a large variety of chefs each week, and premiered the string of evenings with The Grape’s chef Brian Luscher.
The premise is that each week a chef would take the helm behind the pizza bar at Il Cane Rosso, bringing their own special ingredients to create a defining pie.
Luscher made his Pleased to Meat You pie that was laden with house-made bacon, hot coppa, smoked ham, sweet & hot Italian sausage, Barking Cat Farms hot giardinera, fresh mozzarella, fontina, and San Marzano tomatoes. It was a fat and happy pie and started the steam-roll of chefs that would parade through each week.
Last evening we were reminded that Perkins would make his appearance and create his own special pie. Would Jack make a cheeseburger pie, all slap-happy with bacon and beef chunks? This actually sounded pretty good.
Instead Perkins threw a curve ball with a pie smothered in marinara infused chili that he used as the foundation and sauce for the pizza, shards of bacon, tater tots and grilled jalapeno. It sounded unbelievably… not edible.
Surprisingly, the pizza was quite delicious and very edible. The warm chili and jalapenos staved off the chill the evening cast. The tots were crisp with a soft potato center that relented with each bite. The over all appeal to Perkin’s pizza was that of a really good Frito Pie.
Jerrier intends to maintain the program and has slated at least three more chefs to take hold of the peel. Next week bad boy chef from The Commissary, John Tesar, makes an appearance. December 12 Dean Fearing has his moment of making pies, then beefy blogger Daniel Vaughn from Full Custom Gospel BBQ takes his shot at making his defining pizza.
Only good things may come of this.