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Vernon pizza maker bringing flavours from Montreal hometown

Montreal-style pizza made by Vernon resident Brian Hooles.
Montreal-style pizza made by Vernon resident Brian Hooles.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Brian Hooles

Vernon resident Brian Hooles is making Montreal-style pizzas using ingredients and flavours from his hometown back east.

He’s sold a few of the authentic pies to friends and is getting such rave reviews he’s now considering opening a pizza place and is looking for a business partner.

“The sauce, the dough and the pepperoni can only be found in Montreal, I use New Milano pepperoni,” he said. “It’s a Montreal-style pizza, they’d call it ‘all dressed’ there. Every 14-inch pie comes with half a pound of pepperoni and a pound of cheese on it, and mushrooms and green pepper.”

Hooles started experimenting making pizza five years ago when he was living in Vancouver. He wanted to recreate the pizza he grew up with in an area called Bronx Park in Montreal because it was the “thing he missed the most” after moving to the west.

He said a pizza restaurant opened in Bronx Park in 1972 called Centrales Pizza that became a staple of the area.

“I remember standing outside the window when I was young, watching them make pizzas,” he said. “It was voted the best pizza in all of Montreal.”

When Hooles moved to Vancouver a few decades ago he missed the pizza so much he was bringing pies back with him after going home to visit.

“I used to get them to half cook and freeze pizzas to take back to Vancouver,” he said.

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Eventually, Hooles got tired of bringing pizza back from Montreal and began experimenting making his own.

“Many years ago my friend’s mother worked for Centrales Pizza and gave me the recipe but I lost it,” he said. “I did remember a few key secrets to the crust and sauce I used to develop my recipe. One of the keys is to use quality ingredients, and the cheese is important.”

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Hooles currently makes the pizzas for himself out of his home in Vernon since moving there last fall and sells a few pies to friends. He imports the sauce, dough and pepperoni directly from Montreal. Now going on five years since he started baking pizza pies, he thinks he has “perfected it.”

“Everybody that has tried has given me a two thumbs up.”

He said if he opens a pizza restaurant in Vernon he is calling it Bronx Pizza. 

Go here to connect with Brian Hooles. 

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