Mutton pizza is now available in Owensboro, courtesy of a collaboration between Azzip Pizza and Old Hickory Bar-B-Q. Azzip debuted the new option Thursday, and it’s exclusive to Owensboro.
The “Old Hickory” pizza features Old Hickory chopped mutton, mozzarella, onions, pickles, rye chips, and a swirl of John’s Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce.
Adam Fraize, Assistant General Manager at the Owensboro location, said he’s been pushing the idea of a mutton pizza for a while now and is glad to see it finally come to fruition.
“I started here about a year ago, and they’re always having a new pizza of the month, pushing the envelope on taste profiles,” Fraize said. “They kept asking questions about what kind of pizza could sell. So for a year now I’ve been trying to get mutton put on the menu. It’s such a big staple in Kentucky, or at least in Owensboro.
Fraize said the owner finally “kind of caved after me asking him as many times as I have” and when the chef of the restaurant came over and tried it, “he immediately loved it.”
Chef Blake Kollker and the Owensboro team started experimenting with Old Hickory Bar-B-Que’s award-winning mutton and the flavors from a classic BBQ sandwich on rye.
“I have long heard of the tradition of mutton barbecue in the Owensboro and Western Kentucky region, but after the team told me of their idea and I did some reading on the backstory of the history, I had to try it for myself,” Kollker said. “I had a platter of mutton BBQ at Old Hickory for lunch recently and I have to say it was very impressive. The richness of the meat and slight gaminess along with the slow smoking really show the talents that Old Hickory has provided for over 100 years. We are really excited to debut this mash-up of two regional restaurants showcasing the best of our talents and hope people try a new twist on one of their favorite foods.”
Fraize said the final product is very representative of a classic, open faced mutton sandwich — but with a crispy bite.
“When you eat a mutton sandwich, the worst part about it is how soggy that bread can get from time to time. With this, the way that the crust bakes in with it on top of there, it all works and formulates really well and is a great new spin on an old classic.
Customers at Azzip during the lunchtime rush were already giving the “Old Hickory” a try, and the reviews were all positive.
Azzip Pizza was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Evansville, Indiana. The Owensboro location is at 3800 Frederica Street. They offer dine-in and curbside pick-up.