Chef Teddy Diggs is bringing Roman-style pizza to the Triangle

October 2, 2018
Chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio Ristorante served salt-roasted wild king salmon that he overnighted from Alaska at Thursday night's Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory.

Award-winning Italian chef Teddy Diggs recently announced that he will be opening a Roman-style pizzeria, entitled Coronato. Before it opens, Diggs is giving customers a chance to sample some menu items at various pop-up events.

At a recent pop up hosted by La Farm, Diggs served a three course meal including dandelion greens with fresh shelling beans, tahini dressing and parmigiano-reggiano. The pizza options included a roasted potato, garlic, sweet peppers, pecorino romano and talleggio pizza. La Farm’s flour was used to cook all of the pizzas. And, all meals ended with Cornoato’s tiramisu.

The pizza served could be characterized by its cracker-thin crust unique to Roman-style pizza. The crispy crust is created by adding olive oil into the dough, this is what makes Roman style pizza different from Neapolitan-pizza. Roman-pizzas also cook at a lower temperature than Neapolitan-pizza.

In his most recent position as executive chef at Il Palio Italian restaurant in Chapel Hill, Diggs served food inspired by various regions of Italy. Diggs chose to focus on Roman cuisine for Coronato because of its lingering impression on him after his trips to Rome.

“My visits to Rome have been so refreshing because it’s completely different from the rest of the country,” said Diggs. “It is so unique and urban and modern. There is such a great connection to the history… history upon history but it has shed all of that yet still retaining it. But shed it to a vibrant culinary climate that is really doing some fun things with cooking.”

While making traditional Roman-style pizzas, Diggs has also decided to mix Roman classics to create refreshing and fun recipes. One of these recipes is his caico e pepe pizza, which takes the flavors from the popular pasta dish.

“That’s part of having fun with cooking, taking something that is classic Roman cooking and applying it to what we are doing with pizza,” said Diggs. “The cheese and black pepper, the flavor combinations work.”

While Coronato’s location hasn’t been announced, Diggs said it will likely be in the Chapel Hill area.

Diggs describes his solo venture as a step forward fir his career.

“It was the next step in my career, I worked in the hotel for so long,” said Diggs. “I had done everything that I could have thought possible before exploring what it would be like from the owner’s perspective.”

Coronato is expected to open next year.

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