With Chef Audrey Kelly
Watch Chef Audrey’s Mill Experience
Audrey Kelly is the pizzaiolo/owner of Audrey Jane’s Pizza Garage in Boulder, CO. Growing up in a family bakery, food has always been a huge part of her life. During a semester in Italy studying for her Journalism degree, she fell in love with pizza. Coming back to San Francisco she pursued her culinary dreams by working in restaurants. However, it wasn’t until she trained at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana that she found her true calling. She marvels that something as simple as pizza can be so beautifully complex and versatile. Audrey strives to bring fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients to her pizza by making the best dough and keeping it saucy.
Q & A with Chef Audrey
Q: How did you go from being a journalist in San Francisco to becoming a pizza maker & restaurateur in Boulder?
A: My family is in the restaurant industry. I grew up cooking in the shop. My mom always wanted me to pursue a career outside of the restaurant world. I went to Italy to do a journalism internship but just fell in love with pizza all over again there. I just knew becoming a pizza maker was what I really wanted to do.
Q: What was it like being a student at Tony Gemingnani’s International School of Pizza? How did you impress him so much that you ended up becoming his first student he has ever hired from his pizza school?
A: I just kept at it and asked him many questions. Tony was opening his restaurant, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in SF, and I talked him into giving me a job there. He ended up being the very best mentor to me. He is so knowledgeable and is one of those few special people that’s able to teach and enjoys passing his knowledge on.
Fresh olive oil elevates food and takes it to a whole new level with new flavors.
Q: What’s unique about Audrey Jane’s Pizza Garage?
A: A lot of love goes into it – it’s a family business and my family is here a lot. For my organic dough, we use a mother dough that we put into our actual dough and age for 3 days to give it great flavor. I use the best ingredients that I can find. If you have that as your base, whatever you have on top of the pizza will taste good as long as it’s fresh.
Q: How did you discover Corto?
A: When I was getting started with my place, I was looking for an oil with the flavor profile and great qualities of a more artisanal boutique oil, but I also knew that flavor consistency is a must in a restaurant. I tried several oils, and Corto Truly had all the qualities I was looking for: grassy, floral, rounded up by fruitiness. It was what I wanted.
Q: What role does olive oil play in your cooking?
A: It plays a HUGE role. It is an integral ingredient in our dough, salad dressing, roasted vegetables, and used to finish pizza. For most of my applications the oil is used to add the final layer of flavor, so it must taste good — nothing can cover it up!
There are a lot of misconceptions about olive oil. Knowledge is power. I hope that once people know the difference between olive oils, they will embrace companies like Corto who are bringing fresh olive oil to kitchens.