Aaron Crinis Of Glorietta Talks New Pizza Series Highlighting Local Producers And Unpredictable Toppings

Photo Courtesy of Glorietta

For some, pineapple on pizza is a sin of the highest order, for others, it’s the perfect sweet accompaniment to ham, otherwise known as a Hawaiian classic. For Glorietta, it’s the pizza of the month. Glorietta owner, Aaron Crinis explains the pizza is not your average Hawaiian pizza.  It’s actually sprinkled with pickled pineapple from Nice Pickles, the South Australian company jarring tasty twists on pickled goods, including jerk beans. The tangy ingredient with a touch of jalapeńo spice was a welcomed surprise on the confit Pomodoro base with mozzarella, ham, and oregano. 

Every month, the North Sydney restaurant will present a new wild and wonderful creation, with the main ingredient highlighting a local producer. During February it’s the Nice Pickles pizza, which Crinis was a fan of before putting it on the menu.

“I’m always looking to highlight local producers,” says Crinis. “Every month, we will have a rotating pizza special, featuring an ingredient that celebrates Aussie producers.”

Before launching the pizza series, Crinis was inspired by the sheer amount of support Glorietta received during last year’s lockdown. 

“We were open three months before we were forced to shut down like many other restaurants,” Crinis tells Thrillist. “We have such great chefs and staff, who weren’t receiving government support so we were determined to stay open, offering takeaway to our customers.”

Fortunately, there is a silver lining in every situation, according to Crinis who discovered a new business model during their takeaway service. 

“It was an interesting period for us because we were connecting with the locals, rather than being a corporate venue, which is what it was like for the first three months of opening,” says Crinis. “When we returned at the back end of last year, we were overwhelmed with support from our locals who were eager to dine in.”

Although Glorietta serves a variety of Italian dishes, Crinis, and head chef, Mauro Greco spent a lot of time perfecting the base, playing with the classics, and leaning on variations with fresh produce. Greco’s pizza’s take influence from both Naples and Rome, using 72-hour fermented pizza bases that ensure the right balance of chewy charred goodness that has proved popular with customers. 

This led to the idea of a producer pizza series, where Crinis could give back to the community by working with a local producer at the same time offering customers something new and exciting every month. 

“When we launched Glorietta, we always had the intention to work with smaller producers as well as mainstream producers,” Crinis tells Thrillist. “This series that we thought of helps us do exactly that while helping local producers during this uncertain time.”

So what can we expect next month? While Crinis kept the details of the pizza close to the vest, he did mention a collaboration with Sift Produce, the company delivering seasonal produce from local growers. 

Another exciting name drop Crinis mentioned was Fabbrica, the part pasta shop, the part commercial kitchen where pasta is made in the back like a factory, and there’s even a deli. 

“We’re looking at doing something with their sauces, which is exciting,” says Crinis. 

Finally, for April, Crinis is collaborating with Mitch Orr, to bring his new black garlic and chilli sauce flavours to pizza.

“We’re very excited to work with Mitch Orr,” Crinis tells Thrillist. “I’m a big fan of his and when I reached out it just worked out.”

For now, the producer pizza series will run for six months, with May still open for a producer. Although Crinis hopes eventually producers will want to reach out to collaborate on a pizza. 

“I’d love to see Glorietta move into a straight pizza restaurant with a natural wine list, and a similar rotating menu of pizza creations highlighting local producers,” said Crinis. “We are very lucky to have community support, so I’d love to make Glorietta more of a neighbourhood venue, where you can celebrate a birthday or anniversary, or take your loved one out for a casual dinner.”

For now, diners can drop by and try a pizza from the series for $25 – 30. They’re also available for takeaway and delivery.