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Dining Outside at Bookie’s Pizza

The unique 'nduja, pineapple and anchovy Detroit-style pizza at Bookie's.
The unique ‘nduja, pineapple and anchovy Detroit-style pizza at Bookie’s.

When a fine-dining chef who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked at Michelin three-starred Manresa pivots to making pizza, you know those pies are going to be damn fine.

And at Bookie’s Pizza in Santa Cruz, they absolutely slay.

Tucked inside Sante Adairius Rustic Ales tasting room at 1315 Water St. in Santa Cruz, Chef Todd Parker has set up shop, turning out Detroit-style pizzas with California farm-to-table panache.

Parker was the chef at Manresa Bread’s Campbell location when it first opened, which is where I first met him. The plan was for him to become the head chef at sister business, Mentone, when it was to open in Aptos.

Chef Todd Parker.
Chef Todd Parker.

But the pandemic had different ideas, delaying the debut of the pizza-centric Mentone, and leaving Parker to contemplate what the near future held.

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