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Gary Perkins

Wildwood Pizza, Alexandria

Lillian Brouillette Photograph

Owner of Wildwood Pizza Gary Perkins grew up with parents who loved to cook, and the family’s two-acre garden gave him an appreciation for the freshest ingredients. It was obvious he’d end up in the restaurant business. He began his culinary training with French chef Jean Pierre at POETS in Baton Rouge while attending LSU.  After graduation, he bought Louie’s Café with Jimmy Wetherford on Chimes Street in Baton Rouge. He then moved back to Alexandria and started Spirits Food and Friends, a family-owned and operated neighborhood restaurant in 1989, which he sold in 2005. In 1994, he and his wife Sherry bought and ran Lee J’s on the Levee, a Southern home-style cooking buffet.

The tradition of family-owned restaurants continues in the Perkins household. In July 2014, he opened Wildwood Pizza with his wife Sherry, their two children Vivian and Garrett, and current owner of Spirits, Lee Gwinn. Wildwood Pizza brings a refreshing, laid-back vibe to Alexandria.
 


 

The Firehouse Pizza

The Firehouse is named for the actual firehouse that is located across the street from the restaurant. The pizza is a decadent twist on a Southern favorite – combining the flavor of chicken wings with pizza.

Wildwood Wing Sauce:
10 ounces wing sauce
    (store bought)
¼ quart heavy cream
1 ounces Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
(2 servings)

Toppings:
3 ounces fresh Mozzarella
1 ounce Gorgonzola
4 ounces cubed or shredded
    chicken (previously cooked)
1 ounce pepperoncini peppers
    (or banana peppers)
Wildwood Wing Sauce
Make at home pizza crust:
    (or you can buy a ready-made
    crust)
¾ cup warm water
2 teaspoon (1 packet) active
    dry yeast
½ teaspoon sugar
1½ cups unbleached flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons + ¼ teaspoon
    extra-virgin olive oil

Add yeast and sugar to warm water, stir until yeast dissolves. Let stand five minutes until thin layer of foam appears.

Measure flours, cornmeal and salt into large bowl, add yeast mixture and two tablespoons olive oil; mix well. Form dough into two equal balls and place on lightly floured surface. Press down with palm of hand, fold dough over itself and press again. Continue to roll and press until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Coat dough balls with remaining two teaspoons oil place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled, about two hours. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. Dough will keep two days.

Directions:
Take a pinch of flour or cornmeal and put it on the surface you will use to roll out the pizza.

Roll out each pizza dough ball to desired size/thickness. Add the Firehouse toppings. Drizzle with Wildwood wing sauce. Bake pizza at 550 degrees on pizza stone or on the grill for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
 


Wildwood Pizza
1260 Texas Ave., Suite H
Alexandria
(318) 448-7121
www.wildwood-pizza.com

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