LOCAL PROVIDER SPOTLIGHT: COLORS GOURMET PIZZA
October 12th, 2022
Chef Martial Bricnet of Colors Gourmet Pizza
Not only is WaveCrest Pizza one of our most popular entrees, but it features one of the longest-running Farm To School relationships we’ve had.
WaveCrest Pizza’s foundation is the white whole wheat dough that we get each day from Colors Gourmet Pizza, a bakery in Vista owned and run by Chef Martial Bricnet. Colors has been in business for over 30 years, starting in 1991. The bakery supplies dough to fine restaurants, hotels, resorts, and theme parks in a dozen states
Chef Martial and his team at Colors started working with Vista USD in May of 2009, not long after the bakery moved to its current 15,000-square-foot location in Vista. He recalls that the district had a well-run pizza operation, but the dough being used was being brought in frozen from a vendor in Los Angeles.
“We showed that we could provide the dough, already flattened, the day before. So the kitchen team would only have to place the dough in pizza pans the next morning, add the other ingredients, and bake, resulting in fresh pizza from start to finish.”
WaveCrest’s Ideal Dough
The dough has a chance to sit for about 18 hours before the WaveCrest Cafe Central Kitchen team brings it out to bake each day’s batch. This time, as it turns out, is ideal for the dough. Chef Martial explains the science behind this step.
“It’s important to give the dough time to rest and develop its flavor,” says Chef Martial. “Most pizza restaurants make their dough today for use tomorrow, and when I started a restaurant that’s what we used to do.
“So we make the dough around 10:30 or 11 o’clock in the morning,” Chef Martial continues. “The school district picks it up around 11:00 or 11:30, and then it goes in a walk-in refrigerator until the next morning. It’s ideal for the dough to have time to develop its flavor. I wish many of the hotels that use our product would do that!”
300+ Pizzas Per Day
The team at Colors makes over 300 pizza crusts per day to go to WaveCrest Cafe. That amounts to close to 2,000 students enjoying freshly baked, locally-sourced pizza at lunch each day.
To ensure the quality of the pizzas at that scale, pizza as an entree is offered at a select number of school sites each day. That allows the team at the Central Kitchen to minimize the time between when the pizzas come out of the oven and when they are served at the schools.
It also means that WaveCrest staff and Chef Martial see each other daily. “I know WaveCrest Cafe is very proud of the pizza they serve. It’s a good program and I’m really pleased to be part of it.”
Clean Label Ingredients
One of the advantages of using a small, local bakery is the ability to customize the ingredients to not just meet USDA standards (hence the white whole wheat), but to be as clean as possible across the board.
“We are happy to provide a clean product for schools,” says Chef Martial. “We have always been very careful with the ingredients we use. Since the day we started, we have compared our ingredients with the Whole Foods list of approved ingredients, which is what many people do in the trade.
“As a smaller company, we can be very selective in our ingredients. Large companies cannot do that as they source ingredients in such large quantities. We can control better what we use, and that lets us provide a better product for our community.”
Knowing that the company is on the cutting edge of supplying a top-quality product to schools brings Chef Martial and his team a great deal of pride. “It is very satisfying knowing that the pizza product we provide is going to be a very clean label,” he says.
Based on the popularity of WaveCrest Pizza and the quality of the product, Colors now supplies dough and crusts to other North County schools in Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Fallbrook. As with many things, word of mouth has helped to grow his business not just with restaurants, but with schools.
We’re thrilled to have kicked off the Colors relationship with schools, and proudly serve this fresh, locally-sourced entree to our students each and every day.