Eliot Collins (EC) - What are your tips for toppings? How much would you use per pizza?
Paul Dodds - (PD) We believe in keeping toppings simple on a pizza. The combination of flavours on each pizza have been carefully chosen by our team so they all work together. We want these elements to shine through; to enhance the crispy base and tangy tomato sauce instead of distract from it. The real key is making sure they are evenly spread out, so each mouthful is loaded with flavour.
EC - How do you best balance the ingredients?
PD - Our chefs are always on a quest to taste good authentic pizzas, so we’ve trawled humble side street trattorias all over Italy in a bid to soak up inspiration. Here we realised the best pizzas are all about texture. Paul Ainsworth came up with the idea of topping a Fiorentina with a soft boiled egg at the end so it’s always perfect and oozy. This way you get a real texture contrast with the thin crispy pizza, goey egg and fresh rocket. We always have an acidic element to cut through the richness of the pizza, whether it’s a twist of lemon with fish or drizzle of balsamic at the end.
EC - What are your thoughts on a tomato vs non tomato base?
PD - We love tomato-less pizzas. When we have them on the special’s board they always go down a storm so thanks to their popular demand we’re in the process of developing more. We sometimes have a garlic-butter pizza and keep it really simple with Parmesan and truffle. Sometimes we’ll have a pesto base too.