Surefire Pizza | Wine | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Eat & Drink » Wine

Surefire Pizza

The Whiteheads can make it a pizza kind of party.


When slinging Italian-style pizzas at this year’s Downtown Farmers Market, Surefire Pizza owners Jeffrey and Melissa Whitehead were often asked, “Where’s your store located?” Their answer: Everywhere. Lawns, parks and parking lots are only a smattering of locations where their wood-fired oven can travel.

Jeffrey Whitehead spent two years in northern Italy, and fell head over heels in love with the pie. “I just love the pizza—thin crust with awesome ingredients. Simple,” Whitehead says. “I’d never had that type of pizza in America.”

So, years later, Whitehead imported an Italian Valoriani wood-fired brick oven, mounted it on a trailer and is now redefining the word “delivery.” Catering along the Wasatch Front is Surefire’s main business, and he tows his rig to wherever his clients need him, including family or corporate seasonal soirees.

Using assorted hardwoods as fuel, the oven takes about an hour to heat. Reaching temperatures of 750 to 900 degrees, the pizzas cook in only about 90 seconds. Aside from wood being an efficient way to cook the pizza, Whitehead says, “It’s kind of a show—the experience of doing it in front of [patrons]. They love it.” Plus, it gives the pizza the perfect subtle char flavor. The brick oven generally stays warm for a day afterward, and Whitehead says his mother-in-law will use it for baking breads and pastries if there’s not a catering gig.

For pizzas, Surefire uses 00 Caputo flour—Italy’s finest—along with high-quality imported and local ingredients; nothing’s overprocessed or overdone. From the menu, the Margherita—featuring crushed tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, parmigiano reggiano and extra-virgin olive oil—and chicken pesto pizzas are delicious. Simplicity packs a tasty wallop.

Holidays don’t have to just be about hams and yams. The Whiteheads can make it a pizza kind of party.