Opening at 4 pm on Friday, with a limited menu, just in time for the fourth of July, The Pizza Lab is an artisanal pizza lover’s dream. A collaboration between Chef Jon David Baron of Baron’s Food Lab food truck fame and NoHo Junction, Chef Baron is bringing his masterful pizza creations to the brick and mortar urban food hall.
Already a recipient of “Best of the Bay” awards in other food categories, Chef Baron hopes to add the title of “Best Pizza” to his many accolades and 5-star reviews across social media.
A Tampa native and graduate of Brandon High School, he started cooking at 16 and came by his love of Italian food naturally. Having trained in classic Italian and French cooking, his influences came from his mentor, Michelin Star Chef David Wilson from Scotland. He learned to appreciate the importance of fresh-made dough and using the finest ingredients.
“Pizza is a branch of my passion. I got into this industry because I have a passion for serving others. I’m a man of God. Most of my businesses have been faith-based. I love providing that service to strangers I’ve never met in my entire life, and then after that service is said and done, that I am remembered for the service I provided,” said Chef Baron. “Chef Wilson taught me the chemistry of working with dough and working with fresh pasta. I didn’t see that a lot in the States. It was a primary focus of mine – creating that quality fresh dough. Because of that, it carried on to my entire standard, which is quality: using only fresh ingredients, making sure the food is nourishing the body, and not deteriorating it.”
Chef Baron is incorporating his gifts in the kitchen to bring upscale pizza to North Tampa and beyond. At Pizza Lab, fresh vegetables, herbs, and delicious array of meats and cheeses complement a hand-crafted, original, sweetened herbal bread crust that comes in crust flavors of garlic parmesan, Cajun, and cheesy.
With his launch, the rustic char-crusted Pizza comes in four variations:
- Create-a-Pie offers toppings ranging from prosciutto, pepperoni, and sausage to veggies, fresh mozzarella, and ricotta.
- Veggie provides the classics of a red or white sauce, onions, spinach, Roma tomatoes, and black olives.
- Perfection lives up to its name with prosciutto, pepperoni, sausage, red sauce, ricotta, and red pepper flakes.
- The Chef’s personal favorite is Chicken Florentine. This robust pizza features roasted chicken, white garlic sauce, spinach, goat cheese, and sauteed onions.
“Everything we do is for the love of food. With pizza, we research, talk about it, go out, and try different variations. Our pizza profile is different than any place that’s around here.”
To accommodate those with special diet restrictions, Chef Baron will be adding a gluten-free and vegan option to the menu in the future.
“The promise I make to my guests is the food is going to be fresh and the best quality we can give to them. I want to do something great in Hyde Park. We want to think outside the box and provide artisan-style pizza and new flavor combinations. Covid-19 has depleted the dining out experience. Being able to do To Go and basically be a monarch, I want to be able to put my name on that and be a contender for the best pizza in Tampa Bay.”
Pizza Lab opens in NoHo Junction located at 1500 West Cass Street on Friday, July 3, at 4 pm. To learn more, visit https://nohojunction.com/pizza-lab. To order, please call 251-2721.