Guest Chef Kelly Whitaker, The Forager Pizza

pizzerialocale Seasonal Pizza

The Pizzeria Locale kitchen is especially vibrant this month, as we’ve had the privilege of working with James Beard-nominated Chef Kelly Whitaker (of celebrated restaurants Brutø, Wolf’s Tailor, Basta, and Dry Storage artisan mill) to create a pizza masterpiece—and help the planet in the process.

We’re teaming up with Kelly to offer this month’s specialty pizza that will benefit Zero Foodprint, whose tagline is “let’s eat our way out of the climate crisis.” We’re all for that! ZFP is a nonprofit organization mobilizing the food world around agricultural climate solutions. Named Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation, ZFP sees the food system as a major solution to global warming as well as a major cause. ZFP members crowd-fund grants for farmers to switch to renewable farming practices—proven to be the most impactful initiative yet towards solving global warming.

Kelly Whitaker is all-in. “We support restaurants that support good food and create sustainable experiences,” he told us. He considers Pizzeria Locale part of his community and says it’s been fun watching us expand from our original site on Pearl Street to our current four locations. He’s delighted to both be working with us and to be giving back to the farmers growing our grains. “It represents the ways that we think about sustainability in our own restaurants and our practices around regenerative farming,” he says.

So what have we come up with for our October special? Our own Jordan Wallace has collaborated with Kelly to come up with a pizza we’re calling The Forager, which features forest mushrooms, Italian pork sausage, truffle oil, thyme, and fontina, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese with butter and garlic oil.

Sound mouth-watering? We absolutely think so, and you can find out for yourself: The Forager is available for pick-up or delivery, but only through the end of the month! You can order it digitally (through the Pizzeria Locale app or our website) or at any of our four locations.

Our guest chef program is honored to be collaborating with Kelly. He’s a James Beard Foundation Award nominee for Best Chef: Southwest, and a winner of Bon Appetit’s hottest top-ten new restaurants for Wolf’s Tailor. His celebrated Basta wood-fired restaurant in Boulder makes him an experienced and seasoned pizza chef, while he’s explored the relationship between heirloom grains and the end food product at Dry Storage Bakehouse. And he’s taught the country a great deal about how restaurants can feature acclaimed dishes—while generating no waste products—through Brutø, located inside the Free Market along Denver’s Dairy Block. Kelly launched the Boulder-based Id Est Hospitality Group in 2005 as a communion of passions: culinary inspiration, care of the guest experience, and greater accessibility to high-quality grains and Colorado ingredients.

We’re very proud of the fact that Pizzeria Locale’s guest chef series has to date raised over $20,000 for various nonprofit organizations. Past guest chefs in the popular series include Caroline Glover (Annette); Jen Jasinski (Rioja, Ultreia); Josh Pollack of Bridge & Tunnel Restaurant Group (Rosenberg’s, Lou’s Italian Specialties); Dave Query of Big Red F Restaurant Group (Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, Lola Coastal Mexican and others); Alex Seidel (Fruition, Chook), and more. 

And this month’s recipient of the program couldn’t be a more timely choice. “Healthy soil,” they tell us, “could sequester between half and all of the carbon humans emit every year if farmers and ranchers reduced tilling, applied compost, planted cover crops, and incorporated animal grazing—practices that improve soil health by increasing the amount of life in the soil.” Who wouldn’t want to be part of that? “ZFP restaurants, diners, food brands, and farmers are shifting farmland from climate problem to climate solution… One meal at a time.”

One meal at a time. One person at a time. One order of The Forager pizza at a time. If you’re wondering how you can help solve the climate problem, we’re happy to be offering the most delicious way possible!