It was just a few months ago that chefs Kim Douglas and Piero Pignatti Morano saw the perfect corner front shop on Victoria Rd was available and jumped at the opportunity.
“It was a really quick discussion,” Piero tells SBS. “Should we do it? Yes.”
“We’ve been making pizza forever—it’s kind of what we do—but not this type of pizza, not on this scale, and not at this time of the day,” he laughs.
Devotees of Two Chaps’ and newcomers alike will greet the changing Madre menu enthusiastically: meat-free pizzas that champion fresh, seasonal produce sourced from providers including Camperdown Pocket Farm and Moonacre Farm in the Southern Highlands.
The flexible nature of pizza has allowed the team to come up with combinations like Portobello mushrooms, Jerusalem artichoke, smoked cauliflower hummus and lemon thyme as well as blue cheese, washed rind, fior di latte, Warrigal greens and hazelnuts.
“It’s a great canvas to put whatever we can get our hands on, and because we don’t have to have all of these staples necessarily, beyond the Margherita, we don’t have to make any concessions in what we buy,” says Piero.
“And people don’t have any preconceptions as long there’s a cheesy one, a basic one and a really spicy one!”
It’s how Piero first learned to make pizza as a kid—using whatever you have on hand to be creative, “without making some kind of gross compost pizza!”
“It was always, like, ‘Well if we’ve got a bit of tomato, and some basil and maybe a bit of cheese, garlic’. It’s the same idea here.”
The mother of all doughs
The name 'Madre' might conjure up images of an Italian matriarch but it’s also a nod to how the thin, puffy Neapolitan-style bases are made—with a mixture of sustainably-sourced Australian flours and a sourdough starter.
“Livieto madre is the yeast mother, so when you say it in English it’s the same thing with sourdough bread—the starter mother,” says Piero.
Just like the ever changing menu, you can expect the Madre dough to be a little different on each visit to the pizzeria.
“The nature of the sour itself, it’s going to change all the time, the dough will never be the same on any given day,” says Kim. “It’s easy enough now for us to control it because its winter but once summer kicks in, it’ll be a whole other ball game.”
And while you're getting stuck into a few too many slices, or snacking on the insanely moreish chilli and rosemary roasted almond and macadamia nuts— you can enjoy a selection of Australian beer and wines or a Negroni made from Applewood Red Økar, MAiDENii vermouth and gin from nearby distillery, Poor Toms; call it an Australiana negroni, if you will.
Madre is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 5:30pm-9:30pm. 205 Victoria Rd, Marrickville NSW