CHENNAI: From activated charcoal crust pizza to wheat bran crust pizza — four different crusts and eight varieties of toppings — Prego, the traditional Italian restaurant at Taj Coromandel has curated a special menu for its pizza festival. After a series of trial and error, the menu offers unusual dough, topping and flavours in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
“You can either play with the base of the pizza or the toppings. The bigger the size of the pizza, the better you can experiment with options. We’ve tried activated charcoal crust. The black colour is usually not associated with food but it has been trending for quite some time. The challenging part is getting the consistency of the crust right. If not, the whole slice goes waste,” says Sujan Mukherjee, executive chef.
The activated charcoal acts as a detoxifier and is used to create black pizza with a crunchy texture. For vegetarians, the topping was earthy-flavoured truffle and spiced rucola lettuce with parmesan. The non-vegetarian pizza had lamb bolognaise, bocconcini and fresh basil topping. Next, we are served the flaky crust pizza. The twice baked flaky, layered and crisp dough, used as a base, goes well with the crunch of fresh apples, red onion and goat cheese as toppings for vegetarians, and the non-vegetarian option has the traditional smoked salmon, capers and provolone, an Italian smoked cheese. “The taste of this base will remind you of an oven-baked puff. But it comes in the form of thin crust with layers. Flaky crust works best as a crust for dessert pizzas,” he explains.
The third option is the polenta crust. Crispy polenta crust pizza has been inspired from Prego’s own bread basket selection that comes with a topping of roasted pepper and mint for vegetarians and thyme roasted chicken with walnut and gorgonzola for non-vegetarian. Finally, they serve us a pizza crust made with wheat bran. This gives a nutty aroma to the pizza where the toppings are kept classic — tomatoes, mozzarella and basil for the vegetarians and the non-vegetarians can indulge on pancetta and caramelised figs. “People normally do not get to taste these wild combinations everywhere. We’ve also kept the health benefits in mind and added options like wheat brCHENNAI: an. The grainy texture with wholesome topping is unique,” he says.
We wrap the pizza overdose with a huge slice of dessert pizza that has a flaky crust with honey glazed orange and mascarpone, an Italian cheese variety.
The Pizza Festival is on at Prego, Taj Coromandel till June 30 from
7 pm to
11 pm. Price for one is `1,200 plus taxes (non-vegetarian) and `1,000 plus taxes (vegetarian). For details call: 66002827