It’s the dinner hour at Pizzaiolo in Oakland, California. Your kids are running around the boccie court on the patio. A glass of Lambrusco fizzes purply in front of you. And then the pizzas appear, brawny constructions, blackened around the edges but delicately yeasty under the crunch, and bearing gypsy peppers, house-made pork sausage, and tomatoes with a better pedigree than Henry Cabot Lodge. You are the lucky recipient of Sustainable Pie, food of choice for fashionable locavores of all ages.
If your pizza is garnished with wild nettles, squash blossoms, burrata cheese, or La Quercia prosciutto (from Iowa—not everything can be local), it is Sustainable Pie. If the menu trumpets the chef’s allegiances to the Slow Food movement, the town farmers’ market, and recycled cardboard take-out boxes, it is Sustainable Pie. If your pizza is called flatbread and is baked in a wood-burning oven built from indigenous clay and stone, it is Sustainable Pie. If you have spent 90 minutes staring at the framed James Beard Award in the bar while your children inhale organic root beer before the hostess finally calls your name, you are no doubt about to (finally!) eat Sustainable Pie.
Such pizza—an ideal way for families to experience the food of A-list chefs like Alice Waters, who started this whole movement—is not just dinner, it’s a political statement as heartfelt as the Riverkeeper sticker on the bumper of your Volvo. It’s also almost always outstandingly good. And the credo, that even a simple slice can be a platform for saving the planet, is as easy to swallow as, well, pie.