No two ways about it: pizza is having a moment in Sydney. Since Philadelphia's Pizzeria Beddia popped-up in Bondi for a week in July, a surge of new openings has levelled up the Harbour City's pizza scene.
In September, Orazio D'Elia doubled down on the success of Double Bay's Matteo with a second outpost in the CBD. A few weeks later, Luke Powell fired up the oven for the first time at Bella Brutta, just as Mary's Pizzeria launched riffs on New York and Detroit styles at Chippendale's Lansdowne Hotel.
Now, Carlo Mirarchi is teaming up with Lennox Hastie at Firedoor for an afternoon to give Sydneysiders a taste of Roberta's, the Brooklyn pizzeria that's amassed a worldwide following.
"I was in Adelaide earlier this year for Tasting Australia, and had the chance to meet Lennox and dine at Firedoor," Mirarchi says. "We decided that night to do a collaborative dinner."
"Fire & Slice" is this year's final instalment of Firedoor's Fireside series – a string of one-off events supported by Tourism Australia that's featured Peter Gilmore, Paul Carmichael, Thi Le and other local luminaries cooking with fire in the power-free open kitchen since 2016.
This Sunday, Hastie and Mirarchi are staying true to the spirit of the Brooklyn original: think no bookings, loud music and potentially long queues. A concise pizza carte lists four Roberta's classics, including the beloved Bee Sting, a spicy honey and soppressata number, and a marinara with an optional add-on of sea-urchin roe. The chefs are also working on a collaborative effort that'll be announced on the day.
A selection of antipasti and salads will complement the pizze, and heat from coals and the wood fire will give life to some more substantial, produce-driven options, such as charred corn with finger lime and Thai basil, and a no-nonsense eggplant parmigiana. "Lennox has a similar appreciation and respect for working with great ingredients," says Mirarchi.
Thirsty punters may opt for a cocktail starring Belvedere's new single-estate rye vodkas, and Messina will be taking care of dessert, dishing up tiramisù and scoops of Neapolitan gelato. Limited-edition merchandise will also be available, for diehard fans or diners hoping to tick some Christmas gifts off the list.
The doors open at 1pm, and while "coming in on the early or late side" is Mirarchi's hot tip for scoring a table in New York or LA, it's all over once the dough runs out in Sydney.
Our advice? Run, don't walk.
"Fire & Slice" at Firedoor, Sunday 9 December, 1pm, 23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills, NSW. (02) 8204 0800, firedoor.com.au