Q&A with Jeff Bach on the creative pizza menu at Ian’s
Jeff Bach is the Mad Scientist of Pizza Toppings at Ian’s Pizza. No, really. That is his title at the Wisconsin-based pizza company with six locations in Madison and Milwaukee, Denver and Seattle. Ian’s is known for its constant rotation of unique and original pies and slices. We wanted to get his take on how street food has inspired Ian’s pizza menu.
Q: What food do you think of as street food?
When I think of street food I think of bold flavors and typically easy to eat with your hands or on the go.
Q: What are you looking for in a street food to turn it into a pizza? How do you break the idea down to create a killer pizza?
When turning a street food into a pizza I break the item down to individual elements/ideas and figure out how to put them back together on a pizza in a way that reflects the key texture and flavor combinations of the original recipe. Sometimes it looks like deconstruction cuisine, other times it looks like an open face sandwich.
Q: What are some of the street-food inspired slices you’ve had success with and how often do they make a reappearance on your menu?
Tacos, Curries, Chicago Dog and Poutine have been some of the best sellers. We have a couple curries that make yearly if not twice yearly appearances. Poutine usually once or twice, and one of our favorite taco inspired pizzas is the Cochinita Pibil that comes around two or three times a year, Chicago Dog once or twice.
Q: What advice do you have on creating a street food-inspired pizza?
Make sure the flavors pop. Often times I need to intensify the flavors because they are more spread out on a pizza, you don’t get as much in a single bite.
Check out just some of the street-food inspired pies that Ian’s has debuted on Instagram:
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