In the February issue, I profiled Jay Jerrier, the guy behind the greatness of Cane Rosso. It’s a really good story — not because I’m a super-awesome wordsmith but because Jerrier is a fun person to talk to and because he’s got a great story to tell. We rewrite the headlines for the web, but here’s the print version: “The Accidental Pizzaiolo: how Jay Jerrier quit his corporate gig and wound up making the best pizza in town.” Anyway, space prevented me from including some choice material from Jerrier. Thought I’d pass it along here, for those who are interested.
On cooking pizza for Collin County residents: “In two years of doing this business, I’d say we’ve done five events north of 635. And my wife laughs because she’ll see me run to buy a pineapple, and she’ll say, ‘Oh, you have an event in Collin County?’ I’ll say, ‘Yeah. They want pineapple pizza.’ They’ll want a meat lovers. ‘Do you need ranch dressing?’ It’s pretty funny.” [Editor’s note: Jerrier makes true Neapolitan pizza. The idea of putting pineapple on it makes him cringe.]
On the dining habits of Preston Hollow and why he decided to open in Deep Ellum: [For a time, Jerrier had a store in Preston Forest that he shared with Chocolate Angel.] “That was part of the problem. Preston Hollow is great. We’ve got a ton of fans there. But it’s basically just a more sophisticated Collin County. It’s families, BYOB. People would come in at 5 and not leave till 10. Seriously, kids in diapers, sitting in high chairs, from 5 till 10. If you look at the phases of a dinner service, 5 to 7, 7 to 9, 9 o’clock plus. I mean, Preston Hollow was dead by 8:30. And I was looking at paying $10,000 per month rent, I’d be sitting there biting my nails down to nubs at 8:30, saying, ‘Where the f— is everybody?'”
On how he knew Cane Rosso had arrived. “I always say I knew I hit the big time when the counter guys at Jimmy’s know who I am. I don’t need any other press or anything else. When the counter guys at Jimmy’s say, ‘What’s up, Jay? Can I get a Cane Rosso t-shirt?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, s—.’ D Magazine is great. But when the guys at Jimmy’s know me?”
On Campisi’s. “I can tell their sauce comes from a can. Their sausage is low budget.”