New Bedford Restaurant Chefs Up Street Corn – Except It’s a Pizza
If someone were to tell me that there's more than one way to make street corn, I would have told them to lay off the Kool-Aid.
However, there's a popular Italian restaurant in New Bedford that proved me wrong and I'm so glad they did. Did you know that you can order a street corn pizza at Carmine's at Candleworks? Because I certainly didn't and I'm glad I now know. A little birdie had told me to check it out for myself and here's how the whole experience went down.
As I walked into the old Candleworks building, I immediately chose to sit at the bar to eat because I'm classy like that.
"Would you like to see the specials for the day?" the bartender asked, and I politely responded in the affirmative. Lo and behold, there it was, staring me in the face: street corn pizza. I placed my order without any second thought and patiently waited.
While I waited, I was welcomed by Carmine's Executive Chef Joe Melo, who informed me of the culinary artist was behind this unorthodox creation: Chef Austin Hunter. Hunter is a Florida transplant who now lives here in New Bedford. He explained his inspiration for the pie.
"I really enjoy what's called Elotes-style street corn," Hunter said. "It's a delicious Mexican family dish that you would normally BBQ on the weekends, and I'm trying to bring some of that authentic Mexican cuisine flair back to this area since we don't have much of it around here."
The pizza quickly made its way to the bar and I dove right in without hesitation. I was instantly blown away by the cilantro-lime aioli that was infused with oil, salt, pepper, and cumin, which was drizzled on top of a hefty pile of bacon and corn. There was a fiesta in my mouth and I knew right away that I needed to tell the world, and Chef Melo agreed.
"I like it, it was very smart of him," Melo said. "When I tried it for the first time I said, oh my goodness, it was a good choice. You see, in my position, I’m all the way up, I have nowhere to go from here. So it’s only suitable for me to pass along what I know and give that creative breathing room."
Now, I'm not necessarily gluten-free, but I do have a sensitivity to it. Luckily for me, there's a cauliflower crust option that is just as tasty.
Melo allows his cooks and kitchen staff to be as open minded about the menu as they want and it looks as though it's paying off for Hunter.
"I truly am grateful for this position, because it allows me to be as creative as I can," Hunter said. "This street corn pizza is just the tip of the iceberg of what I have in store for Carmine's."
Need more convincing to give it a try? I also found out that throughout the month of November a percentage of your bill will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater New Bedford. Order the pizza, eat the pizza, enjoy the pizza and give back. It's the circle of life, my friends, and I'm enjoying the ride thus far.