We chatted with Rolf and Daughters chef Philip Krajeck about his pizza-centric concept Folk, which opens in East Nashville on April 23. 
Folk has opening date
Credit: Folk/Instagram

It's official: Nashville chef Philip Krajeck's highly anticipated new restaurant, Folk, opens on April 23, making an appropriately seasonal entrance onto the city's culinary scene. The Rolf and Daughters chef, who famously works wonders with each season's peak offerings, is turning his attentions towards pizza.

At Folk, “neo-Neopolitan” oven-fired pizzas made with freshly-milled flour will take center stage, but don’t the restaurant will not be a pizzeria, per se.

“It’s not just a pizza restaurant,” he tells Food & Wine. “We’re going to have a really strong vegetable section. We’re doing cured meats. We’re doing seafood. We’re making lots of things that are fun, but things that we want to eat.” The food promises to be simplistic, Krajeck says, each dish featuring three, maybe two, components, but with big flavor. “It’s going to be classic,” he adds. You can expect dishes like agretti and crab, and shrimp roasted in the wood-fired oven, and lamb meatballs. The wine list will feature natural wines – in particular, "really light, macerated carbonic reds, and pét-nats that are just the best with pizza."

Unlike at Rolf and Daughters, head baker Michael Matson will have much more space to maneuver with a big mixer, plenty of space for fermenting dough, and massive ovens. Matson will be managing Folk's pizza dough program. "It’s the same ethics we have behind making bread: freshly milled flour, 100% natural levant," says Krajeck, who knows that Rolf and Daughters' bread has developed somewhat of a cult following. "So it’s just flour, salt, and water." Why fix what isn't broken?

The pizzas will be about twelve inches in diameter, with some whole wheat flour mixed into the dough and stone-milled flour from two different non-GMO mills in the Southeastern region. "For our purposes its more flavorful," he says. "Naturally leavened, slow fermented grains are easier for your body to digest, too."

While Folk's menu will be quite different than Rolf and Daughters, Krajeck says the spirit will be similar – and we're glad to hear it.

"We work really hard to do things that have the same ethics and values as the fanciest nicest restaurant, but we try to do it in the most democratic way possible and make it available to the most people possible," he says. "It’s not so much about the ego of the chef. We love the process of what we’re doing, and we want to be able to share it with lots of people, and cook the food that we want to eat ourselves."

One of the pizzas at Folk, for example, is inspired by something Krajeck loves to eat with his wife: "We’ll order a shitty pizza, and then make a really beautiful salad to put on top of it." At the restaurant, the not-shitty pizza will be topped with gorgeous local greens, lemon balm, and nasturtium.

823 Meridian St. Nashville, TN 37207