Edgar Martirosyan, who catapulted to fame after the world watched him bring 20 pizzas to Ellen DeGeneres at the 2014 Oscars, isn’t resting on his insta-celeb laurels.
The co-owner of the Big Mama’s and Papa’s chain, famous for a 54-inch Sicilian that is allegedly the world’s largest deliverable pie, is branching out with a more chichi Los Angeles restaurant called Wood Handcrafted Pizza, which he opened with his brother Erik. The focus will be on 12-inch pizzas with artisanal toppings such as lamb sausage, prosciutto di parma and local mushrooms.
And the talk show host, who’s spoken openly about her commitment to a vegan lifestyle, is a fan. “Edgar, my Oscars pizza guy, brought lunch for my staff! He has a new restaurant in Silverlake called Wood Handcrafted Pizza. It’s amazing,” she Tweeted recently.
The Martirosyans were certain to give the comedian props: One of the four vegan pizzas on the menu is named—wait for it!—The Ellen. The pie is topped with zesty ingredients like serrano peppers and cilantro, and finished with olive oil and balsamic vinegar:
“Working with Ellen is always a pleasure and we always love to get her feedback. She has been so great and supportive, so it only makes sense that we name our top vegan pizza after her,” Erik Martirosyan told PEOPLE.
Actor Forest Whitaker also stopped in to try Wood’s offerings and looks pretty pleased with the results:
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Want to try making your own Ellen-inspired vegan pie? Start with a basic vegan dough — like the recipe below — and juj it up Martirosyan-style. Their finished pizza sounds like a tasty cross between a salad and a salsa: Along with oil and vinegar its toppings include Follow Your Heart vegan cheese, tomatoes, garlic, Napa cabbage, garbanzo beans, sliced red onion, serrano chile peppers, avocado, cilantro and lime juice.
Basic Pizza Dough
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dry yeast (about ½ a package)
¾ cup warm water (105F to 115F)
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in ¾ cup water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Stir 2 cups flour, oil, and salt into yeast mixture to form a soft dough.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent the dough from sticking. Place dough in large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning dough to coat top. Cover dough, and let rise in a warm place (85°F), free from drafts, 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
4. Punch dough down. Cover and let rise 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Divide dough into 2 equal portions; roll each portion into a 9-inch circle on a lightly floured surface.
5. Place dough circles on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Top and bake according to directions.