Like many individuals, Ian Maschal was reconsidering his profession path through the pandemic and actually stepping into sourdough whereas spending extra time at residence. Two years later, nonetheless, he turns the pastime into, effectively, dough. And, not like earlier than, it really works for itself. Maschal, a Boston chef whose resume consists of stints at high-profile spots like Eventide Fenway and Menton, is on the helm of his newest enterprise: Gradual Dough Pizza Co., a take-out trailer working just a few nights per week away from residence. from Newton Higher Falls Beverage Retailer.
Open for pre-orders and pickups since late Could, Gradual Dough focuses on artisan sourdough pizzas which might be gentle and ethereal, but crunchy and durable, and accented with high-quality components, together with premium meats and cheeses, chilies candy Hatch and wild mushrooms. “I would like tremendous crushable pizza,” Maschal says, “and be the one who runs the entire enterprise.”
Through the first winter of the pandemic – Maschal was at Ivory Pearl on the time – he took a step again from the trade and began cooking for personal shoppers. Throughout that point, he was impressed by different cooks he noticed on Instagram who had been pivoting in artistic, takeout-focused methods, like Tom Cardarelli, a former New York restaurant colleague, who began a Mounted trailer restaurant known as Stracci Pizza in Alexandria. , Virginia in early 2021.
Maschal visited Stracci Pizza for a day and tried their signature pie, completed with recent, creamy stracciatella cheese. Cardarelli “has been extremely useful,” says Maschal. Together with sharing his marketing strategy and contacts, he additionally let Maschal know what he spent on the operation. “My excuse [for not opening my own restaurant] has at all times been that I haven’t got any cash,” says Maschal. “As soon as I noticed him do it, it appeared affordable to me.”
Again in his kitchen, Maschal armed himself with cookbooks and signed up for on-line courses with world-renowned pizza consultants Gradual Rise Pizza Co. to develop his personal dough recipe primarily based on their recommendation. . “Somebody mentioned, ‘I used this kind of pre-fermentation and observed I received a stiffer crust with extra air.’ That is what I am in search of, so I will attempt to do it,” says Maschal of his analysis and improvement course of.
In the meantime, years of working in different eating places have formed the chef’s imaginative and prescient for the cellular kitchen. The Gradual Dough pizza trailer was constructed to his specs: it consists of gas-powered deck ovens and different gear, albeit bolted to the ground and partitions so that they keep in place throughout transport.
When it got here to discovering a house for his new operation, the chef reached out to Mike O’Connell, proprietor of Newton Higher Falls Beverage Retailer and one other non-public chef. The 2 labored on some occasions collectively, and Maschal talked to O’Connell about his dream pizza trailer, O’Connell recalled. His household owns the property the place the beverage retailer is situated, and O’Connell thought a meals truck would possibly deliver new enterprise. “[We] actually simply restaurant associated and we wish to see it succeed,” says O’Connell.
For Maschal, parking on the retailer gives water, electrical energy and foot visitors, three components for a startup proprietor’s peace of thoughts. Staying put as an alternative of hitting the streets like a conventional meals truck is one other trace Maschal took from Stracci Pizza, which now parks its pizza trailer exterior its personal brick-and-mortar constructing. “I would like [Slow Dough] be as shut as attainable to a small restaurant,” says Maschal.
In alternate for all of the inspiration, Gradual Dough has an ode to Stracci Pizza on its opening menu: selfmade stracciatella finishes off the OG Roni pie. Different hits on the menu to date embody a candy tomato pie with hand-shredded mozzarella and scamorza cheeses, and Wasik’s cheese and wild mushroom pizza with farmed and wild mushrooms, caramelized onions in sauce and mascarpone from the venerable cheese manufacturing facility. “I actually attempt to use spectacular components which might be native and seasonal,” says Maschal. It additionally affords rotating pizza toppings and aspect dishes, like a traditional Caesar salad.
The chef hopes the take-out mannequin will assist him preserve high quality. Gradual Dough Pizza Co. is accepting pre-orders, and Maschal intends to finally promote the dough he makes day-after-day. He expects the trailer to solidify his Wednesday-Saturday schedule, however the schedule has been extra sporadic since opening because of non-public occasions, which the chef intends to proceed providing. At the moment, Maschal and his spouse, Jessica, do all of the prep and repair work. They replace their hours weekly on Instagram.
For the chef, it has been a dream come true to date. “I’ve at all times wished to be the particular person operating the enterprise,” says Maschal. “It is liberating.”
Within the parking zone of Newton Higher Falls Beverage Retailer, 150 Needham St., Newton, 617-548-1098, getlowdough.com.