Oobatz: The Most Talked-About Pizzeria in Paris

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Opened last month, Oobatz by Dan Pearson has already landed on Eater's “The 15 Hottest New Restaurants in Paris” list. This pizzeria, whose name means "crazy," is the first permanent project by Parisian renowned sourdough baker Dan Pearson, known for his influential residency at Le Rigmarole.

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credit: @danpear

In Paris, Oobatz has introduced a rare style of sourdough pizza. About a year and a half ago, Robert Compagnon and Jessica Yang, the couple behind the French-Japanese grill restaurant Rigmarole, decided to take a break to focus on their family. During this period, they offered Dan Pearson, a baker who had been a regular at Rigmarole, the opportunity to transform their space into his temporary residence. In the first week, the pizza at Rigmarole was already a success, and the following weeks were no exception, resulting in stable sell-outs.

Dan Pearson has not always been a master of sourdough. While his appreciation for bread and pizza existed from a young age as a hobby, it did not emerge as a proper career for a long time. Right after college, he was convinced to pursue a career in political science, taking part in election cycles, and even coming to Paris to study for a master’s degree.

In the podcast "The New Paris," he shares that he finally decided to try making perfect pizza with sourdough, a passion that had been winning him over. This led to working in Maine in his home country, the US, and a brief period at Panic bakery in Madrid. He shared that working in a French boulangerie was a dream, so when the opportunity came, he took it. He moved to Paris in 2018, with his first serious job being at Circus Bakery, now closed, which was known for its sourdough bread.

The most significant moment was joining the young and innovative team at Ten Belles Bread, owned by Alice Quillet, Anna Trattles, and Anselme Blayney, also specializing in sourdough bread. Ten Belles Bread was part of the new wave of bakeries and coffee shops introducing a modern approach, serving coffee with great attention to the beans and roast from local micro-roasteries, seasonal sandwiches, tarts, pies, and organic sourdough breads.

At Rigmarole, the pizzas were an instant hit due to the light, crispy yet healthy, and easy-to-digest base, and uncommon and delicious combined seasonal toppings. The sourdough base is rested for 36 hours, as he notes on "The New Paris" podcast, "pushing the fermentation almost to the end of its cycle to get the crunchy and light crust."

The opening of Oobatz was a natural progression for the trio of Jessica Yang, Robert Compagnon, and Dan Pearson, building on their success with Rigmarole.

The current menu offers five options featuring simple, seasonal toppings. These include salsiccia, caciocavallo, and tomato sauce, or asparagus and lemon, courgettes with mozzarella di bufala on the à la carte menu, along with a chef's carte blanche option.

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