By Katie Ayoub
Dan Coudreaut is known for his long stint as Executive Chef and VP of Culinary Innovation at McDonald’s. In 2022, he opened Lantern Pizza Co., where he specializes in Neapolitan-inspired artisan pizza crafted with cold-fermented dough mixed in house, mozzarella from Wisconsin cheese curds (made daily) and tomato-basil sauce from California tomatoes.
Coudreaut’s builds are flavorful yet simple, showcasing the integrity of the ingredients. “Early in my career, I didn’t understand the importance of simplicity,” he says. “I would almost celebrate the number of ingredients and cooking techniques I could incorporate into a single dish. My approach now is to start with fresh, high-quality ingredients, treat them with respect and serve them with great hospitality.” One example is Lantern’s popular Toasted Garlic White Pizza. To maximize garlic’s flavor and create a crispy texture, Coudreaut toasts minced garlic slowly in a canola-EVOO blend. He hand-stretches the dough, drizzles the garlic oil, then applies a dust of toasted garlic. He tops it with mozzarella, fennel sausage, Parmesan and Serrano peppers. “This brings spicy, savory and umami altogether with the garlic,” he says.