The National Pizza Awards!
On the 3rd October, LLK proudly sponsored the National Pizza Awards in London which saw talent from up and down the country descend on the capital to be ultimately named the best in the pizza biz by the panel of judges.
This year the panel of judges was made up of magazine editors industry professionals and our very own Development Consultant, Fabio who was chosen to be on the panel due to his vast knowledge in the pizza industry.
The competitors were then split into groups of 4 and were given 40 minutes to complete the various pizza challenges set by the organisers, a technical round, a speciality pizza round and a mystery box round.
This year’s technical round really put the pizza chefs to the test. In these rounds competitors were given the dough sponsor, Pan Artisan’s new dough- a gluten free base and were instructed to create their favourite pizza using ingredients they sourced to top the pizzas base. The lack of gluten in the dough made it extremely difficult to stretch and with only two dough balls available to use competitors had no room for error. On observation, competitors with rolling pins seemed to be the most successful in this round, with one competitor resorting to using the side of a can of Mutti tomatoes to roll out the dough gently to stop it breaking!
The second round was the ‘speciality pizza’ round, in this round the pizza chefs were given the opportunity to showcase their most popular pizza, the pizza that gets people into their pizzeria daily. This is also the pizza that made them a finalist at this year’s awards. This round showcased all kinds of pizzas, from more traditional Neapolitan pizzas, to pizzas with ricotta stuffed crusts and even one with over £100 of Truffle grated on top!
The final round was the ‘Mystery Box Round’, this was a new round at this year’s awards and consisted of a number of ingredients specifically picked by our fellow sponsors Salvo. The ingredients consisted of a range of purees from yellow tomato puree to pumpkin puree and other tinned goods which can be found in Salvo’s vast product range.
Once the competitors had showcased their talents the event space was transformed, and it was the turn of our very own Pizza Chef, Fabio and his sous chefs for the evening, Kyle and Ian to serve pizzas to the masses of guests that descended on the former scrap yard to see who would be crowned as the winners of this year’s awards! The proceedings were taken over by Tv Chef and presenter, Joe Hurd who commended the talent that he had seen at the awards before the mic was handed over to the head judge for each category.
The first winner to be announced was the Chef who had shown the most practical ability in the Technical Round and it came to no surprise that the winner was Marco Fusa from Baked and Battered. Marco was the only competitor who successfully hand-rolled his pizza without the need for a rolling pin!
The second winner to be announced to the crowd was for the Salvo 1968 ‘Mystery Box’ Round, the winner of this round was the only Vegan Restaurant to be selected as the finalists, Purezza! Their executive chef, Filippo Rosato used the sponsors ingredients to create a pizza masterpiece what he called ‘Autumn in London’.
The next round to be announced was the ‘Pizza Chef of the Year’ award, the winner of this award was decided by totalling up all the scores from the Technical, The Mystery Box and Speciality Pizza Rounds and the winner of this round was Luigi Marino from Tre Ciccio!
The final round was the most anticipated round, the National Pizza of the Year. This honour was awarded again to Filippo Rosato from Purezza who won the award for the Vegan Restaurants most popular pizza the ‘Parmigiana Party’!
Congratulations to all the finalists at this year’s National Pizza Awards, it was a fantastic occasion and it was incredible to see the varied pizzas that were produced in our Donatello + Pizza Ovens!