The Best Story About Pizza That You’ll Read Today

In the February issue, I profiled Jay Jerrier, the guy behind the greatness of Cane Rosso. It’s a really good story — not because I’m a super-awesome wordsmith but because Jerrier is a fun person to talk to and because he’s got a great story to tell. We rewrite the headlines for the web, but here’s the print version: “The Accidental Pizzaiolo: how Jay Jerrier quit his corporate gig and wound up making the best pizza in town.” Anyway, space prevented me from including some choice material from Jerrier. Thought I’d pass it along here, for those who are interested.

On cooking pizza for Collin County residents: “In two years of doing this business, I’d say we’ve done five events north of 635. And my wife laughs because she’ll see me run to buy a pineapple, and she’ll say, ‘Oh, you have an event in Collin County?’ I’ll say, ‘Yeah. They want pineapple pizza.’ They’ll want a meat lovers. ‘Do you need ranch dressing?’ It’s pretty funny.” [Editor's note: Jerrier makes true Neapolitan pizza. The idea of putting pineapple on it makes him cringe.]

On the dining habits of Preston Hollow and why he decided to open in Deep Ellum: [For a time, Jerrier had a store in Preston Forest that he shared with Chocolate Angel.] “That was part of the problem. Preston Hollow is great. We’ve got a ton of fans there. But it’s basically just a more sophisticated Collin County. It’s families, BYOB. People would come in at 5 and not leave till 10. Seriously, kids in diapers, sitting in high chairs, from 5 till 10. If you look at the phases of a dinner service, 5 to 7, 7 to 9, 9 o’clock plus. I mean, Preston Hollow was dead by 8:30. And I was looking at paying $10,000 per month rent, I’d be sitting there biting my nails down to nubs at 8:30, saying, ‘Where the f— is everybody?’”

On how he knew Cane Rosso had arrived. “I always say I knew I hit the big time when the counter guys at Jimmy’s know who I am. I don’t need any other press or anything else. When the counter guys at Jimmy’s say, ‘What’s up, Jay? Can I get a Cane Rosso t-shirt?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, s—.’ D Magazine is great. But when the guys at Jimmy’s know me?”

On Campisi’s. “I can tell their sauce comes from a can. Their sausage is low budget.”

33 comments on “The Best Story About Pizza That You’ll Read Today

  1. Jay, guess I don’t need to drive from Collin County to eat your pizza. Urban Crust will do just fine. Apparently they don’t hold your disdane for people base on a geographic location. Thank you for saving me the drive!

  2. Now in my defense, Mr. Rogers lured me to his satellite office which turned out be The Old Monk. I tried a new drink, I think it was called “beer”, that made me run off at the mouth. My grandmother cussed like a sailor so I guess i get it from her.

    Also, I do live in Collin county – almost Oklahoma – and I have 2 small kids…so we are a very typical family “up north”. I wish I could make it work up here as it would make my life easier. No disdain at all for Collin county or families…that’s in my current wheelhouse. I love Urban Crust and Cavalli too.

    I’m just a Jack Perkins starter kit!

  3. @Mike – Agreed.

    Guess Jay won’t have to suffer through my family buying his pizzas any longer. I never knew how awful it was when I brought the kids for dinner–one of whom even used a high chair! Great pizza, but we’ll drive up to Pastazios from now on.

  4. WOW! You guys are sensitive! Great example of an overly political correct society. It seemed obvious to me that Jay was poking fun, and that is backed up by his response. Y’all chill out…

  5. Mike and Scotch’s loss…and more pizza for me!

    And Campisi’s…blech. Notice no one is offended by that comment.

  6. Guys get over it Jay was talking about a business decision. I would much rather Jay be in Collin County, driving “south of LBJ” sucks for us north workers and dwellers. I will drive down south for really good pizza, just not weekly. I would also not compare Jay’s pizza to Urban Crust.

  7. We loved having Jay in Preston Hollow, but every time we went we were annoyed by the screaming kids and the parents downing wine to drown out the madness. I think Deep Ellum will be a great fit, and are willing to make the 20 minute drive down there to get our pizza fix.

  8. I can’t wait for Jay’s place to open. And I’m sure he won’t be turning away families or anything. But, the Preston Hollow experience was certainly different than the experience at Times Ten. There are plenty of kid oriented pizza places around already.

  9. Thanks to the outside the loopers for immeditely succumbing to the sterotype portrayed in the interview (the fact that you fail to perceive the irony is almost as delicious as Jay’s pizza). And thank you even more for moving to the burbs; it makes Dallas better and it opens spots at the apparently coveted Hexter elem. pre-k.

    Love Jay and his pizza, good thing there is plenty of $$ within the loop to keep him more than busy.

    Quality (and good sense of humor) wins everytime. Good on ya Jay.

  10. Im still pissed he didnt move to Old East Dallas, my poor neighborhood where its apparently illegal to open any good restaurants….

  11. I had his pizza at Brackets and it was undercooked and soupy. Now I see he is a sell out and a jerk to boot.

  12. I live in Deep Ellum and I am offended by this Jerrier character He has been capitalizing on his bad pizza every where he can.you won’t catch me at his new restaurant. Drunk isnt an excuse and its not cute.

  13. I love the tone some of you ‘inside the loopers’ take in your posts. We get it, you are cooler than the rest of us.

  14. Jay – Is slandering the oldest pizzeria in the state of Texas going to make your pizza taste better?
    Looks like we have another snob. I hate them as much as those NY pizza snobs.
    What do you have against American pigs? I’m pretty sure they are the same pigs that Jimmy’s uses. No canned sauce at Campisi’s, only canned tomatoes. Maybe one day they will have enough $$ to sail over their tomatoes like all you neapolitan elitists. I love all kinds and types of pizzas, including your light sauce and light cheese kind. But you will find most people love what they grew up on as kids. The exact group that you just insulted. Have a good time trying to get familes to Deep Ellum all the while Campisi’s is busing serving the 4th generation of its loyal customers.

  15. Hey, Jay, don’t worry about losing Teppo as a customer. I have a lot of foul-mouthed friends. I’m telling them all to try your pizza.

  16. I’ll talk ish about Campisi’s, those who live north of 635, babies, puppies, nuns, and sunshine all day. Can’t wait for Cane Rosso to open in Deep Ellum. Don’t let the haters get you down, Jay!

    PS: loved the Jack Perkins starter kit comment. Burst out laughing in my office.

  17. Jjtex: ya ever work at the Egyptian? I did. waited tables there in the summer of ’99 (y’all wanna talk about surreal…). They used canned sauce then and I seriously doubt it’s changed. Campisi’s= sysco. Sorry to burst your bubble but they don’t make ANYTHING from scratch.

    Jay: Congrats! Can’t wait to visit the deep ellum location.

  18. Everyone needs to settle down on this. I think the main point on the “family” areas of town was that it is hard to pay huge rent when you can’t turn a table more than once because a family sits there for 5 hours and the area shuts down early. As he said, he has kids and lives in Collin County so he didn’t mean it as an insult and there was no judgement in his quotes. He also stated that he doesn’t have an issue with kids going to his restaurant. He was just analyzing the business economics of not being able to use a table more than once in an evening when he chose his location. It was a financial decision plain and simple. If you decide to be overly sensitive and swear never to eat at Cane Rosso, it will be your loss because his pizza is great and there are enough of us that agree to keep him in business.

  19. Well done Jay.

    Did you notice everyone but you, me and Margie is anonymous?

    If the crucible you’re in is as hot as a Neapolitan pizza oven, you’ll be a finished Jack Perkins in about 90 seconds.

    I’ll be at your place day one with a pocket full of cash.

  20. Pretty sure there are few anonymous people ranting about the drunken statements of a pizza maker. I will probably go but thought the interview was a bit wacky. Jay was sabotaged.

  21. I love Jay and his pizza and will follow him to Deep Ellum! I can’t wait to ago to the new place (even though I live in Coppell)! p.s. Love Maple and Motor too!

  22. It’s unfortunate that the tone of an interview doesn’t always translate in print. I know Jay and his lovely family and he his first class. Funny and charming and extremely passionate about pizza! Go check it out and judge for yourself. This Fort Worth gal can’t wait to drive over to check out his new place!

  23. Having eaten pizza in Naples and a lot of other places, I personally think it was invented in Naples but perfected in New York City. Nevertheless, I think its great that Jay is trying to serve an authentic Neapolitan pie here in Dallas. Good for him. I enjoyed his pizza and friendly welcome in Preston Hollow and look forward to trying the new location.

  24. Jay was just having fun and his pizza is great. For us fellow preston hollowers I am also excited about authentic neapolitan pizza restaurant, Dough coming soon as I saw in a texas monthly blog earlier this week. Their chef owner doug horn makes phenomenal food.