Gourmet newcomers to take part in Pizza Fest Sept. 12

Published on Friday, 25 August 2017 21:19
Written by BRIAN M. JOHNSON

STAFF WRITER

SOUTHINGTON - The Southington Chamber of Commerce’s eighth annual Pizza Fest, coming to Crystal Bees Sept. 12, will feature area restaurants, food trucks and a caterer.

The Pizza Fest will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Crystal Bees, at 240 Spring St., an entertainment center that features bowling, a bar and games. Last year, participants were able to sample slices from nine local vendors. This year the Chamber of Commerce aims to attract a dozen pizza makers, all of whom deliver to Southington.

Two new vendors that have been invited are the David Alan Hospitality Group of Berlin and the New Haven Pizza Truck.

David Alan Hospitality Group is a caterer located at 1897 Berlin Turnpike, Berlin. According to dahospitalitygroup.com, David Alan Hospitality Group’s chefs cook food from scratch using fresh seasonal ingredients. The website states that they serve “great tasting, authentic and nutritious food that exceeds the expectations of our guests every time.”

Owner David Alan said he hopes the Pizza Fest will give his company some good exposure.

“It should be something pretty neat and interesting,” he said.

Alan said he would be sure to bring “something funky and different from everybody else” to the table. He said the company typically serves flatbread style pizzas.

“It will be delicious and certainly gourmet,” he said. “We always try to outdo the competition.”

Another vendor that has been contacted by the chamber is the New Haven Pizza Truck. The food truck is owned by Frank Bernardo, who, according to newhavenpizzatruck.com, has been in the pizza and catering business for 30 years. Their truck, converted from a 1946 firetruck, now carries inside it a wood-fired brick oven.

“I come from a line of Italian bakers and cooks stretching back generations, across the Atlantic, all the way to Italy,” Bernardo writes on his website. “My father was a baker at heart; he built brick ovens and operated anything that cooks. He owned and operated Gigi’s Pizza in New Haven from 1974 to 1999. I was by his side all my life taking it all in, amazed at how he could turn flour, water, tomatoes and cheese into the delicious thing called pizza. His father was a baker as well. You could say baking and cooking are in my DNA.”

A returning vendor who was new to the event last year is The Family Pizza Truck. Owner Angela Bonenfant-Sinnott said she serves up a “thin crust Sicilian style pizza” made with fresh ingredients.

“Last year was really good for us,” she said. “People who hadn’t been to us before had a chance to see and try our pizza and we got really great feedback from it. I still have people coming up to me saying that they remember me from Pizza Fest.”

Bonenfant-Sinnott said one type of pizza she will bring this year is a Florentine white pizza. The other will be a red sauce pizza that she has yet to decide on.

“We encourage people to come out with their families and bring their clients, customers and employees,” said Liz Hyatt, executive director of the Southington Chamber of Commerce.

The Pizza Fest is sponsored this year by Webster Bank, Calcagni Real Estate and Team Demas Orthodontics.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door or $5 for kids ages 5 and under. The chamber is also offering group pricing options. For more information, visit southingtonchamber.com or call 860-628-8036.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or bjohnson@bristolpress.com.



Posted in New Britain Herald, General News, New Britain, Southington Herald on Friday, 25 August 2017 21:19. Updated: Friday, 25 August 2017 21:22.