Each month, we like to take a moment and highlight the farmers, ranchers, producers, restaurants, and partners who make Farmhouse Delivery who we are. This month, we are shining the spotlight on Bufalina, located in Austin, Texas. Bufalina, an artisan pizzeria started by Steven Dilley, just celebrated 7th birthday (Happy Birthday, Bufalina!). We caught up with Steven and his team to tell us how their weathering COVID-19, their new wine CSA program, and how they like to enjoy that to-die-for burrata available on our marketplace.
Can you tell us about yourself and how Bufalina began?
Bufalina is a Neapolitan pizzeria with two locations in Austin. We marry traditional Neapolitan technique (long-fermented dough, Neapolitan wood oven that runs around 875F) with local and house made ingredients. Our first location on Cesar Chavez just turned 7, and our Burnet location is 4.5 years old. As for me, my professional background was in finance and trading before getting into restaurants.
Bufalina is clearly not afraid of taking risks and being creative. We’ve noticed in this pandemic you’ve launched a few programs like your new wine CSA program. Can you tell us more about that program? Are there any other ways our customers can get involved to support your efforts at Bufalina?
Bufalina has always had a strong focus on classical and natural wines. Both restaurants also carry large wine inventories, so when the pandemic hit, we were sitting on a lot of fun juice with few options to move any of it. We also work almost exclusively with small, local distributors–we’re talking businesses that employee between 2-10 people–who sell primarily to restaurants, so they’ve been hit hard during all of this. The wine CSA allows us to support our distributors and producers while also finding a home for all the fun, new wines that continue to come into the market. Additionally, we launched bufalinawine.com, which serves as a retail outlet for our wine inventory. The support has been amazing, and it’s been a lot of fun as well. We’ve also launched Bufalina Deli, which is a small operation run out of The Brew & Brew on E. 5th, which features a small menu focused on sandwiches.
We would love to hear more about how you got started with Farmhouse Delivery. What benefits does our partnership bring to local restaurant owners like yourself?
Christian, Farmhouse’s Supply Chain Assistant, actually reached out. We had started selling dough and sauce retail, and it seemed like a natural fit. Partnering with Farmhouse Delivery gets us in front of a wider audience and also provides us with another revenue stream, which is especially important for us during the pandemic when our dining rooms are still closed. Our focus has always been on the dining experience as a whole–the service, food, atmosphere, and hopefully having fun, which is something we can’t provide directly at the moment. But hopefully people are having fun with our products at home!
We have the most delicious Bufalina burrata available on our Farmhouse marketplace. How do you best like to use the burrata? Do you have any recipe recommendations for us?
Thanks! We like to keep it seasonal and simple. Burrata is kind of like a blank canvas. It’s so much about the dairy and the texture, that it works well with all sorts of things. This time of year, we typically pair it with fresh green herbs, tomatoes, peaches, olive oil. As things start to cool down, we’ll switch it up with simply roasted vegetables and a citrus element, sometimes with some aged, cured meat, like a slice or two of prosciutto from La Quercia. Because it’s rather rich, having something to offset that can be nice–whether in the form of citrus or coarse black pepper or even olive oil that has a touch of bitterness to it.
We saw you posted a video showing people how to prepare their pizza dough. What tips do you have for our members who have purchased the Bufalina pizza kit? What extra toppings do you recommend?
Our approach is to work primarily with ingredients that are pretty concentrated in flavor. Neapolitan pizza dough like ours is surprisingly delicate and doesn’t hold up well to a ton of toppings, so it’s important that the ingredients that are used really stand out on their own, as they’ll likely be used in moderation. This includes in-season herbs and vegetables, high quality cured meats and cheeses, and our tomato sauce, which is straightforward but packs a lot of flavor with an acidity that helps balance the pie.
Other than that, it’s important to use high heat. Max out your oven and position your pizza stone / cast iron / etc. close to the broiler. In the restaurants, our pizzas cook at 900F in about 90 seconds, which obviously isn’t replicable in a home environment. But most ovens can get a very good bake in about 3 minutes by pre-heating the pizza stone and kicking the broiler on during the bake. Feel free to email [email protected] with any cooking-related questions.