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    California’s Top Pizza Titleholder Now at Oakland’s ACRE Kitchen and Bar

    La Vaca Verde Pizza at ACRE

    A few members of our San Francisco Bay Times team recently stopped for a quick lunch at ACRE Kitchen & Bar in Oakland, just across from the Rockridge BART Station. Right after their party was seated, dishes were delivered to a nearby table. Not long thereafter, muffled sounds of “mmm” and “Oh my, God, this is delicious” could be heard. Like the classic scene from the movie When Harry Met Sally, these women were enjoying a moment of orgasmic pleasure, only this time it had everything to do with the pizza.

    Friendly waitstaff at ACRE Kitchen and Bar in Oakland

    As it turns out, the pizzaiolo that day was Sous Chef David Jacobson, who is the 2022 Real California Pizza Contest Grand Prize Winner. The annual contest, sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board, has multiple chefs vying for the coveted title. Jacobson also won for the “Real Californian” category with his entry The Gold Rush. It featured mozzarella, Monterey Jack, provolone, heavy cream, and multiple California specialty cheeses, including a washed-rind triple crème and a nutty aged hard cheese. The judges remarked: “Topped with fingerling potatoes, pancetta, and smoked sea salt, the pizza offers rich, complex flavors that are synonymous with California cheeses.”

    Chef David Jacobson

    The pizza the women at ACRE enjoyed was another culinary knockout: The Fig and Pig with mission figs, prosciutto, goat cheese, a balsamic reduction, and more.

    Our hungry Bay Times team diners ordered the Pepperoni with hot honey and pickled peppers, and the classic Margherita with San Marzano tomatoes, a super creamy mozzarella, and basil. The crust was superb, with perfect leoparding (slightly charred parts) and cornicione (raised areas of the crust). Every bite of these Neapolitan-style wonders was devoured with ravenous glee.

    Pizza and drinks at ACRE Kitchen and Bar in Oakland

    Jacobson told the Bay Times that he grew up just down the street from the restaurant. At his website he mentions: “I’ve learned a lot about both culinary and restaurant operations from many local Northern Californian destination pizza spots, notably Pizza My Heart, Pizzeria Delfina, Flour + Water Pizzeria, and Forge Handcrafted Pizza, and have developed pizza programs and recipes for a handful of other pizza programs including at Fist of Flour and ACRE Kitchen and Bar.”

    With a subtly sweet Mommenpop orange spritz, Chef Jacobon’s pizza at ACRE led to a memorable moment of unexpected culinary bliss in Oakland.

    ACRE Kitchen and Bar

    Jacobson Pizza

    Real California Pizza Contest

    Published on October 5, 2023