We didn’t need anybody to tell us we have great pizza here in Portland. We’ve been supplying the city’s best pizza makers with extra virgin olive oil for nearly 20 years. But we’re happy that the rest of the world is learning about it.
Scottie Rivera fell in love with pizza in his hometown of Brooklyn. Headed toward Prospect Park, he and his friends would stop at Smiling Pizza next to the F train subway stop on 7th Avenue and grab a ‘regular’ slice, aka cheese pizza to those of us not from New York. And while he always liked to cook, he never thought he’d grow up to be a pizzaiola.
He became a Mac genius instead. But when his wife Amy started grad school in New Haven and he had to ride the train an hour to the nearest Apple store, he started thinking about a career change. Scottie took a job at a local cafe and dove into food service, learning about cooking as well as the business side of the restaurant world. When Amy got into a PhD program at Portland State, Scottie became the ‘egg guy’ at the legendary Bread & Ink Cafe on Se Hawthorne. With six burners always blazing, he fried, poached, and scrambled for the perpetual long line of brunch customers.
His experience got him into Ava Gene’s, but he soon felt like he was out of his league. ‘I was on the line with industry vets and culinary school grads,” says Scottie, “I felt inadequate and spent my free time watching Youtube knife skills tutorials. I wasn’t sure I had what it took to be a real chef.”
Amy pointed out that he was making a lot of pizza at home and was good at it, so maybe he should just make pizza. Scottie wasn’t sure. He thought making pizza wasn’t the same as being a chef. But he took a chance and talked to Will Fain of Handsome Pizza; when a spot opened up, he went to work making pizza. That gave him the chops to help open East Glisan Pizza, where he refined his sourdough to work on a larger scale. After a couple of years, he opened Scottie’s on SE Division.
Scottie’s pizza embodies the best qualities of the classic New York slice, a well-structured crust, simple tomato sauce, and good cheese. But the naturally leavened dough made with both local and Italian flours gives it more flavor. He uses some whole grain flour in his starter for texture.
We’re proud to offer Scottie’s dough and sauce so you can make great pizza in your own kitchen.
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