One of Darsky’s dream pies while at flour + water. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
The container before modification. Photo courtesy of Del Popolo.
A rendering of the setup, complete with action figures! Photo courtesy of Del Popolo.
The Stefano Ferrara oven and pedestal. Photo courtesy of Del Popolo.
Pizza fanatics around the city are going to be really thrilled with this piece of news: Jon Darsky—the original pizzaiolo known for his fantastic pizzas when he was part of the flour + water opening team—is now releasing details about his upcoming project, ~DEL POPOLO~. Nope, it’s not a brick-and-mortar spot in the Mission—-it’s going to be a one-of-a-kind mobile pizzeria, the likes of which you have yet to see anywhere. Darsky has been working with fabricators and designers to transform a deconstructed transatlantic shipping container that’s 20’ long and 8’ wide into a mobile unit that will house a 5,000-pound, Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven that’s welded to the floor with a steel pedestal. Not only that, but the exhibition kitchen is enclosed by three glass doors, so you’ll be able to watch your pizza being made. Yeah, this is gonna be fun.
The name means “of the people,” and the pricing is definitely going to be that: all pizzas are 12” with the vegetarian options going for an accessible $10, and meat pizzas will be $12. Darsky will be doing his trademark thin-crust, Neapolitan-style pizzas made with organic ingredients sourced from small producers, both domestic and Italian. On offer will be three kinds a day, and the oven is capable of producing 72 pizzas an hour. There will even be an on-board dough mixer! The truck will be in operation for both lunch and dinner. Oh, and another innovation: the pizza boxes will be a lot slimmer than you are used to seeing—hey, it’s a thin crust, so why use such a big box?
He’s been hard at work for the past 18 months getting this all figured out—there’s nothing like being an original case study, especially when Mies Van Der Rohe is one of your inspirations. Since Del Popolo is a mobile operation, some special considerations had to be made for how to transport the brick pizza oven safely, like the industrial airbags that inflate around the support arms of the container to minimize vibration to the oven during transit (they had to call in some specialists to figure that one out). There will also be a step-down feature of the truck, so instead of customers craning their necks up to place an order like at a food truck, they will be eye level with employees. Darsky worked with a local designer on fine tuning some of the project details, and McLellan Industries in Hanford, California, handled fabrication and production.
There will be some test runs coming up, so be sure to follow @pizzadelpopolo on Twitter. The truck will take up less than two parking spaces, but there’s no word where exactly it will be parking around town just yet. The launch is scheduled for February 2012, possibly on the later side of the month.