Ben Sims' Bantam, which will open on the Westside, will have a pizza-driven menu.
SCW: What was the source of your desire to get involved with a start-up dining room?
BS:After spending so many years in restaurants, both my wife Sarah and I wanted a space that was a reflection of our style and vision, not the reorganization of another space. We desired a clean slate.1010 Fair is that space.
What culinary skills do you anticipate bringing to an all-pizza menu?
While a big focus at Bantam will be wood-fired pizza, the menu will be about half pizza, with other choices ranging from salads to first courses and larger plates. Ever since I worked the pizza oven at Chez Panisse I have loved cooking pizzas and have wanted my own place to have a pizza-driven menu. There is a magic in the fire and dough.
What is interesting, intellectually engaging, about making food?
More than anything cooking is a craft; each time you make something there is an opportunity to improve on your skill. Making something dozens or hundreds of times can be a challenge, yet there is the opportunity to transcend the tedium and strive towards perfection. As with any hand-forged craft, there is a simple formula to improve, and that is dedication and practice.