One-Minute Interview: Art House Cafe Chef Aimee Cox, creator of an amazing breakfast pizza

By Ron Swarner on June 20, 2014

Many argue that breakfast pizza at restaurants is unnecessary. It can be said true breakfast pizza is called leftover pizza - cold, pepperoni-laden and eaten with one hand on the forehead.

The Hub and Milton Tavern have held a tight grip on South Sound breakfast pizza supremacy. Cue up the Game of Thrones' opening theme music (click below), as Art House Café has a worthy, crown-wearing version too.

Staving, I popped into the Stadium District bistro for a quick bite. In the afternoon, the Art House Café serves only salads and pizza. A fan of its mushroom risotto, I eyed the wild mushrooms pizza. The roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions also sounded delicious. My eyes played ping pong with the pizza menu, always bouncing back to the breakfast pizza, with prosciutto, house sausage, parmesan cheese, Monterey jack, shallots, cage free eggs, scallions and chives ($16). The breakfast pizza won.

Chef Aimee Cox has created a masterpiece. The thin, buttery crust is chewy, yet a fork makes its way through every time. Big chunks of sausage steal the prosciutto's thunder. The remaining ingredients decorate the museum-quality pie, producing a decadent food disc that I examined after every bite, as if I was a pizza scientist. Hiding the sliced points, the eggs reach the point just before running. Perfection.

I reached out to Cox for a one-minute interview.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: Hi Aimee. Were you working with chef Dustin Joseph when the Art House Café opened in February 2013?

AIMEE COX: I started at Art House in November 2013. Dustin was already gone. I came from Boathouse 19. I attended culinary school in San Francisco, California. I have been cooking in restaurants locally and nationally for about 17 years.

VOLCANO: What's the secret behind the breakfast pizza crust?

COX: The pizza crust is a pretty standard recipe. I can't give away all the good secrets.

VOLCANO: After each slice of breakfast pizza disappears, specks of black, gold and tiny pools of oil remain. What are the ingredients of this art?

COX: We use semolina on our pizza pans and house made garlic oil on the crust.

VOLCANO: Are you enjoying Tacoma's Stadium District?

COX: The Art House and Stadium District attracted me for many reasons. There is a fun, laid-back atmosphere along with great people and other local businesses.

VOLCANO: I think the Art House should sell the pizza by the slice and hand deliver it to idling cars. Please.

COX: I love your idea of a slice to go. Unfortunately, everything is scratch and made to order. We do offer everything on the menu to go if you call ahead or stop by.

ART HOUSE CAFÉ, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 111 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.2011