Blue Velvet Artisan Pizzeria, Pastry and Dessert Lab
There’s a lot going on at Blue Velvet, but that’s just how owners Paolo Rosina and Ilenia Scuderi want it.
First off is the pizzas. The biga dough is perfect for alla pala because the majority of the condiment is in the middle, and it can get soggy with standard dough. Autolisi is great for smaller pizzas, as it’s deliciously light and fluffy.
But the base is only half the meal. Rosina tops his pizzas with combinations such as mozzarella, fior di latte, rocket, cherry tomato, chives and Tasmanian cold-smoked salmon; and Sicilian tuna, red onion and mozzarella on a roasted yellow-capsicum sauce. There are vegetation options too, including a six-cheese pizza, and vegan options such as the Spagnola, with asparagus, sautéed leek, Swiss mushrooms and olive oil.
He also uses it to bake bread for Blue Velvet’s lunchtime paninis, made using the biga starter. There'll be five or six ready-to-go options available daily.
Scuderi has been baking since she was 16 and specialises in pasticceria salutistica (healthy patisseries). Many of her desserts use rice milk and rice flour, soy milk, olive oil and other vegetarian and vegan-friendly ingredients in place of butter, eggs and milk.
For example, the Tea-Misu – Scuderi’s take on the traditional tiramisu – replaces the coffee flavour with Dragon Chai tea, which is layered over homemade gluten-free savoiardi-style biscuits, Italian meringue and soy-milk custard. Her dessert menu also includes vegan shortbread tarts made with olive oil, lemon and vanilla and filled with homemade raspberry jam; puff-pastry cannoli filled with hazelnut mousse and Chantilly cream.
There are also two set menus for High Tea – a simple all-day option, and a more indulgent version for those who book ahead.