“5 Tasty Questions with
Chef Matt Molina”
Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Matt first blossomed from his naturally shy and quiet demeanor when he found art and music. In high school you could find Matt either playing guitar or sketching the world around him. Fated to become a great pizzaiolo, Matt’s first experience in a kitchen was at a local pizzeria, where he learned the difference between pizza and great pizza; this started his love of cooking, which, over a decade later, is still his greatest passion.
In 2011, on a leap of faith, Matt purchased a one-way ticket to San Francisco, after a mutual friend of Tony Gemignani and Matt recommended him for Gemignani’s new Chicago Style restaurant, Capo’s. He had never been to San Francisco, nor had he met Gemignani, but Matt knew pizza, and was excited to live in a city where he could express himself not only with his cooking, but also with his art and music.
In November 2012, Molina opened Capo’s as head pizza maker with Gemignani and, since then, has received local and national praise. At the 30th Annual International Pizza Expo in March 2014, Matt won first place in the World’s Best Pan division with his Cast Iron Pizza “The Dillinger.” He also clenched the ultimate title – Pizza Maker of the Year Award.
Molina lives in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. He is the front man of the band Mean Beans, and is also a contributing artist to The Four Word Movement art collective, which Gemignani sponsors. Molina considers himself an artist, and he approaches cooking as such; he sees his dough as a canvas, and his ingredients as his medium. We met at Capo’s in North Beach for our Foodie Chap chat. Matt put together his award winning pie – American pan division winner and World Champion Pizza Maker at the international Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas. The winning creation The Dillinger, a pizza that is twice-baked in a cast iron pan with a burnt sharp-cheddar crust and a four-cheese Hangar One Vodka alfredo sauce.
Toppings include a mix of mozzarella and provolone, marinated chicken breast and artichoke hearts, red onion, sautéed red bell pepper, bacon and broccolini, and finished with red chili flakes and fresh lemon. The recipe for “THE DILLINGER” is below.
Enjoy my pie-filled conversation with pizza maker who right now is the tops, the pie in the sky chef of all pizza chefs. However, like his boss Tony G, Chef Matt walks in humble shoes and saves all the “show” for the pie!
KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast: