by TImothy Rutt
POV makes “boutique pizzas that are locally sourced and seasonal as much as possible,” Woolner said. He takes pride in producing pizzas from homemade dough that use local, seasonal ingredients, no preservatives, and no additives.
Which sounds about right for the Altadena Farmers' Market, where POV will make its local debut today. And, just to really emphasize their local commitment, Woolner said that, if you buy cheese or other fresh ingredients at the market, bring them to POV and they’ll use them in a pizza they'll whip up on the spot.
“You buy, we bake” Woolner said.
POV’s pedigree fits in with Altadena’s food culture. Woolner’s dad was a line cook from New Orleans, and his whole family cooks Cajun food. His mother is “big in the sustainable movement in Culver City,” he said. “They don’t allow paper towels or plastic bags in my parent’s house."
Woolner went to culinary school in Santa Monica, and before he graduated he was hired by an art dealer in Beverly Hills to be her personal chef -- they would make menus to provide to clients while they were dealing art. He later bounced through several West LA restaurants, cooking Latin, Italian, Japanese, and other foods, later going into catering.
His partner St. John lives in Pasadena but was born in Barbados, a trained chef who specializes in Caribbean seafood.
“I’m really into island cooking, into their produce, their method of cooking,” Woolner said. “I love burying pigs. Don’t be surprised if [the restaurant] evolves into some amalgamation of Cajun/island/Japanese cuisine.”
Yes, PIzza of Venice has a restaurant underway -- and it will be at 2545 North Fair Oaks in Altadena, in a corner of a nondescript shopping center.
“I’ve read a bunch of great articles about Altadena,” Woolner said. “I thought it would be a cool place to start a new business.” Part of their plan is to build a following at the farmers’ market: “My idea is, as we gain more notoriety within the market, we take a loan to make [the restaurant] what I want it to be.”
The vision is not only to provide the pizza, but have an espressso bar, offer wines and beers, “almost an Italian style quick-stop market, with raw milk cheese, oils, etcetera,” Woolner said. “We’ll make our own charcuterie ... make it a quality market that has interesting products from around the world.”
Pizza of Venice will be at the Altadena Farmers Market today. The market is at Loma Alta Park, Lincoln Avenue at Palm Street, and open 4-7 PM.