National Pizza Day: Chef Interview with Area Four’s Jeff Pond
National Pizza Day may seem like a holiday made up for Instagrammers, but we have to say, this is one “national holiday” that we wholeheartedly support. To help us appropriately celebrate the mouth-watering day, we decided to ask pizza aficionado himself, chef and partner Jeff Pond a little bit about his cult following restaurant Area Four and the secret behind their infamous pizza.
We highly recommend running to Area Four to celebrate National Pizza Day for dinner tonight (or any night)! Pizza is always a good idea...especially when savored at Area Four.
1. What is your most popular pizza at Area Four?
The carnivore pizza reigns supreme.
2. Your favorite pizza on the menu?
My favorite is the mushroom and fontina with gremolata. I like to add sopressata to it.
3. What makes Area Four's pizza extra special?
The sourdough crust and the care we take make a big difference. We have many conversations a day about the dough, the oven, the cheese. It is on the forefront regularly.
4. What is the strangest topping you've ever tried to put on a pizza? Did it work?
Kimchee is up there, as a pizza topping. It was delicious though.
5. We noticed that you only use locally sourced ingredients. Why is that important to you?
It is a great way to eat. Flavors don’t get any better, when the ingredients don’t have to travel very far. It is supports the hard working people in our local networks.
6. Any advice for non-chefs to make a perfect pizza?
Most success with our style of pizza comes from controlling the time, temperature and moisture in each pizza. A good place to start is to not over sauce or over top the pizza.
7. What inspired you to open Area Four? Is there a story behind the name?
In many ways, the type of restaurant we were trying to open was a good match to what [Kendall Square] in Cambridge was looking for. It provides Area Four with great energy throughout the day. The name was simply our efforts to identify with the neighborhood before we opened.
8. Why did you choose Cambridge (specifically Kendall Square) as your restaurant’s location? What attracted you to starting a business here?
It seems obvious today [with all of the development happening in Kendall], although not always as clear before you open. That neighborhood wanted more. It continues to develop today, with young like-minded people. We appreciate how the area continues to learn and grow. We are grateful to be part of it.