Meet Chris Hill - A Slice of NJ
We’re starting a new series featuring home pizza makers and their pizza making setups. To kick things off, we’re heading to Byram, NJ to meet new Chris Hill, owner of A Slice of New Jersey LLC. What started as a home pizza making obsession as quickly blossomed into a mobile business!
How often do you make pizza?
Depends on how many events we have, but usually a few times a week! I like to make as much as possible for friends and family, too, as I love and appreciate their input on what works and doesn't work!
How long have you been making pizza?
I have been making pizza since March, 2020. In April 2020, my girlfriend bought me the Ooni Koda 16 (best girlfriend ever, I know), and I started to get obsessive and I haven't stopped since..
How do you describe the style of pizza you like to make?
I do more of a neo-Neapolitan style. I do a higher hydration/longer bake than most typical Neapolitan pies and try to use a more artisan approach. I have also been experimenting with local flours and using as many local ingredients as possible, including Jersey tomatoes. Beginning this June, I'll also be selling my 85% hydration, 48-72 hour fermented Detroit-style pizzas by the slice, which isn't widely accessible in New Jersey yet.
What’s one piece of gear you can’t live without?
I can't live without my Ooni Koda 16. I have two of them that I bring to events because of how mobile, efficient and reliable they are. They heat up really quickly and can run for hours and hours on one propane tank, which makes it perfect for farmer's markets/breweries.
Who is your pizza inspiration?
Dan Richer from Razza, because of his love for using quality local ingredients and his infinite knowledge of dough and fermentation! I really appreciate what Anthony Mangieri is doing at Una Pizza Napoletana in central Jersey, too. His longevity and commitment in the pizza game is incredibly inspiring. The fact that he still makes every pizza that leaves his restaurant says a lot about him. His pizza is probably one of the most memorable pizzas I've ever had. My location in New Jersey also inspires me. I am located in north-west New Jersey and artisan pizza isn't widely accessible here. It is more of a rural part of the state. There's a lot of great pizza in NJ, but most of it is east of here. My goal in starting my catering company was to bring quality, artisan pizza to my community without having to travel 45 minutes to an hour for it.
Never stop growing. Always continue to evolve, adapt and learn. Be curious and never become stagnant or complacent. The moment all that ceases to happen, you fail.