18 May 2017

Taking a punt at becoming a Pizza Chef.

Pizza isn't just carbs and cheese, it is a universal language and the food equivalent of a family hug. Find me a person who doesn't like some iteration of pizza (from cheesy garlic bread to folded Calzone) and I will willingly eat a hat shaped slice of pie. (That doesn't include someone who doesn't fancy it at that very moment, just for the record -that is called temporary insanity in my house.)

Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Pizza Express to put their pizza-making party to the test but my (lack of) pizza dough twirling skills are entirely my own and though this post is in collaboration with them, all thoughts are mine and mine alone.

For me, our love affair began with a panicked answer to "what is your favourite food?" Most people treasure one dish above any other and can answer with ease, but I simply blurted the first possible thing that came to mind.

Pizza.

When the moon hits your eye and all that...


Since then, having travelled the world and still not been able to answer that question (for me food is an absolute mood item) pizza is still my default, an unjudgemental comfort blanket on a dark and rainy night, as a table essential for a meal with the girls (hence our Pizza Club) or when just peckish and in need of a treat.

Enormous slices eaten to the sound of the blues spilling from nearby doorways in Austin, Texas; hand thrown by generation-served chefs off the tourist lanes of Rome, Italy; as staple on the mean streets of New York and even as a treat on our honeymoon (allaying the stresses of our kayak grounding just past the Pont du Gard in the sunny climes of Southern France.


With this in mind, when offered a spot on a blogger night trying out the newly launched Pizza Express pizza making parties, I couldn't very well say no could I? We bloggers all gathered at the Gloucester Road branch of Pizza Express - hands warmed up for dough gymnastics and armed with a glass of prosecco.


Offered a practice roll of dough, and then the real thing, our instructor showed us the correct technique for easing the dough out to our desired size before letting us loose with a multitude of toppings. We set to work in the way that only hungry bloggers can (with a demonstration of professional stitching skills over the chef's head) before our masterpieces headed off for firing.


What is it about playing with our food that makes it so much tastier? (nb: the actual pizza cooking is left to the professionals, don't worry.)


Anxiously settling down at our table with fresh dough balls to nibble, we awaited our custom meals, and the hilarious judging panel.



Et volia!


Somehow managing to miss the 'don't quit your day job' award, I giggled my way through nibbling at my cheesy creation, admiring the far more beautiful pies surrounding me. Tastiest night's work ever.

Have you ever thrown a pizza base over your head?

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