Pizza Brun: The heart of pizza, from the heart of Provençe
August 28, 2014
We have all become such food lovers, and seekers of unique experiences, that we go to extreme lengths to find great restaurants that we can enjoy with friends and family. None is more worthy of discovery than this charming well-known pizzeria that’s nestled in the heart of Provence, in the South of France. Pizza Brun is what fairy tales are made of, it’s a picture book of what good living is all about; great food, regional wines and locals with a warm sense of hospitality that is uniquely southern in style.
Surrounded by rolling vineyards, lush olive groves, goat farms and traditional markets, is the village of Maussane-Les-Alpilles, situated at the foothills of where the French Alps end, a region of microclimates ideal for wine, olives, Provençale herbs and close enough to the Mediterranean to benefit from the Sea’s abundance. And the neighboring Carmargue is home to the famous salt flats that produce Fleur de Sel, a salt that graces the many ingredients of the region. Not more than a hundred meters from Pizza Brun is the world famous Jean-Marie Cornille olive press where they cold press extra virgin fruited green and black olive oils, that can be drizzled on every pizza.
Enter Colette, a vibrant and charming woman with a gregarious voice who is the beating heart of this pizzeria, she plays multiple roles so that her maestro husband Bruno can conduct his craft. Before she decided to move back to her native Provence, Colette was immersed in the big-city corporate world and realized that home was beckoning. Driven by passion and curiosity since the age of thirteen, Bruno formalized his training as a young adult at The Culinary Institute of Avignon. It was in Provence where Colette and Bruno met and fell in love, focusing their collective passion into the art of pizza making.
Pizza Brun is located in the center of an authentic Provencal village in an old stone house, they offer take-away and outdoor seating in their enchanted garden nestled in the alleyway between the adjacent building. The garden is strung with colored lights and the cicadas singing in the background. Unlike traditional pizzerias where if you order multiple pizzas they all come out at once, Colette believes in taking the time to eat, and delight in every bite, only one pizza per table is served at a time. When your pizza is ready Colette rings a cowbell as she calls your name, this ensures a collective experience where everyone in the pizzeria is eating. This casual approach ensures conversation, laughter and a commentary on each pizza.
While the world of pizza debates the principles of a good pizza— with mixed results… Pizza Brun is an exercise in culinary simplicity, a harmony of flavors where elegance is at the heart of each recipe The wood fire oven turns quality ingredients into a symphony of flavors and aromas, that lay ever-so-gently on a extra thin crust.
The pizza menu is seasonal and based on the availability of ingredients, and the mood and tempo of Bruno who is attuned to the land and the seasons. On a hot summer day you may try the Pissaladière; caramelized onions, fresh anchovies, ementhal cheese, black olives and Herbes de Provence, or the Soso; crème frâiche with poached chicken tendrils, apple compote, toasted almonds ementhal, olives and herbs. In the fall the Automnale; crème frâiche with chestnut purée, Parma ham, reblochon cheese, and a selection of fresh herbs.
The deep pleasures of every bite can only be described as the holy trinity of food, where the delicious and succulent flavors are further enhanced by your surroundings, and the people you are with, made only better by knowing that Colette and Bruno poured love into each pizza.
We have all come to know when something is really good and really unique, and it’s no surprise that within minutes of entering you are embraced by their warmth and generosity of spirit, and you feel like the magic they have in this little establishment has been missing in your own life. Immediately, you start planning your next visit, because such good things are rare experiences that feed not just the heart but also the soul.