Live Basil Pizza unveiled its first Chef’s Pick pizza topped with a variety of organic cremini, button, oyster, and cinnamon cap mushrooms from Colorado’s own Hazel Dell Farms of Fort Collins. This special pizza will only be available at Colorado locations until February 28 or until ingredients run out.
Introduced in Denver in 2013, Live Basil Pizza serves handcrafted pizzas that combine traditional Neapolitan pizza with a quick and customized service platform for the way Americans like to eat. In keeping with the Neapolitan tradition, imported San Marzano tomatoes make up the red sauce. Shredded Mozzarella, aged Provolone, Goat, or Ricotta cheese and variety of meats serve as choices for toppings. In a nod to its namesake, basil plants are nurtured inside the restaurant so that the leaves can be picked and placed on top of each pizza that calls for it right before serving.
Live Basil Pizza sources local produce whenever possible, providing the opportunity to offer seasonal toppings. “Choosing organic ingredients is not only about serving food people can feel good about eating,” says chef Andrew Selvaggio. “But it is also about serving farm fresh ingredients that our guests know defines a good-tasting pizza from a great tasting one.” As for this month’s Chef’s Pick, the organic mushrooms are simply dressed with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. “They are a standout on this fresh, hand-tossed pizza,” says Chef Selvaggio.
“We are pleased to work in partnership with Hazel Dell Farms and highlight a collection of their mushrooms on our Organic Mushroom Pizza this month,” says Tom Ryan, founder of Live Basil Pizza. “Since our inception, collaborating with local farms to source the most fresh, seasonal menu ingredients whenever possible has been a hallmark of the brand.”
Every Live Basil pizza is made to order, either from Live Basil’s selection of pies on its Favorites and Signature menus or created to order based on the guest’s specifications. Guests can watch as their pie is tailored to their liking and cooked in a 650-degree open-flame hearth oven and ready in only 150 seconds, allowing for a five minute turnaround time between when the guest creates their pizza to the time it is delivered to their table.
“We have seen a shift in the way that mindful consumers eat today. There is a bigger focus than ever on natural, organic ingredients and a customized dining experience that’s quick and affordable,” Ryan says. “What we call fast-casual dining—quality food served conveniently in a great atmosphere in the $8-$10 range—has clearly earned consumers’ vote for a better way to enjoy a lunch or dinner. We expect pizza to be a leader in this fast casual restaurant category. Live Basil Pizza is positioned to be on the forefront of this movement with our commitment to sourcing local ingredients that make our guests feel good about their ordering decisions.”
Local ingredients aren’t the only way Live Basil Pizza distinguishes itself. Each market has a locally-inspired recipe pizza that can only be found at restaurants in that region In its Colorado locations, Live Basil Pizza features the Colorado with Bison Sausage + Green Chile with roasted corn, green hatch chilies, locally sourced Goat cheese, and bison sausage. Los Angeles pizza is a white pizza with an Italian cheese blend, shaved Parmesan cheese, marinated wild mushrooms, wild arugula, and imported truffle oil.
Live Basil Pizza is owned by a Denver-based development firm called Consumer Concept Group. The concept was created by restaurant financier, Rick Schaden, and industry veteran, Tom Ryan. Schaden and Ryan also developed the leading national better-burger concept, Smashburger.