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Famed Pizza Chef Chris Bianco Wants To Open A Solo Project In L.A.

Bianco at a West Hollywood event in September 2016 (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Diageo)
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Chris Bianco, one of the country's premier pizza-makers, has his eyes squarely on Los Angeles. Following last year's announcement that Bianco is teaming up withTartine's Chad Robertson on a joint venture at Row DTLA, the pizzaiola recently sat down with the Los Angeles Times to catch up on his other plans.

Bianco, the James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of Phoenix's Pizzeria Bianco (which regularly sees hours-long lines), ostensibly sat down with the Times to discuss his new cookbook: Bianco: Pizza, Pasta and Other Food I Like.

This is my only book; this is it. It took four years to write this. [Ecco editor] Dan Halperin had asked me about 12 years ago. ...I’m like, no, we don’t need any more pizza books. It was a time when people were writing books when their aprons weren’t even dirty yet. And I was like, maybe some day I’ll have something to say, but then I was too much in the throes of it. I was busy, and it was too presumptuous anyway.

Bianco then touched upon his Row DTLA project, before suggesting his own project in L.A.

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I’m having so much fun now, with Chad [Robertson] on our downtown project, Row DTLA. And I think we will have one Pizzeria Bianco here; that’s my goal. I want to take everything that I’ve done, and not replicate it, but see what I’d have done differently.

So, why Los Angeles?

I think there’s a sensibility to this town; I think there’s something for me. I saw the opportunity to do something, with Chad, with the farmers, with our West Coast community, the grain alliances, the cheesemakers, some of the greatest produce in the world.

And why now?

My wife has family in Burbank, there are so many connections to L.A. — plus it’s 55 minutes on the plane — and I’ve kept a place here for the last six months. I’ve been coming here for a long time, and really building a bridge. ...I don’t want it to be a French tragedy where the last page is me hitting a tree and the page goes blank. There are possibilities. No matter where I am — stuck in the elevator or any place — I find great things at work.

So, let's recap, quickly: Chad Robertson and Chris Bianco are opening a project together in L.A., with Bianco envisioning a second solo project here, AND he said we have some of the best produce in the world. Yeah, it's a pretty good time to be an Angeleno.

Related: Jonathan Gold Says This Brentwood Margherita Pizza Is Among The Best In The World