Pizza Pilgrims bring out the new food bible… all about pizza
Everyone loves pizza, right?
Well turns out James Elliot, who runs Pizza Pilgrims with his brother Thom, loves pizza so much he didn’t just open a restaurant serving it, but now he’s written a book all about it as well.
We could up with James to chat about Pizza: A Book By Pizza Pilgrims and his views on all things pizza, from the worst slice he’s ever had to why not all pizza in Italy is brilliant.
How would you describe your new book, Pizza?
We wanted to celebrate every aspect of pizza, from its appearance in famous movie scenes like Home Alone to secrets from people like the CEO of Domino’s, to info about the best ingredients and the best places to eat it around the word.
It all stemmed from the idea that pizza is something that makes us happy – it’s why it’s memed so much, comes up in pop culture so much, why its emoji is one of the most used in the world.
The working title was The Pizzapedia. It’s like a compendium or an almanac, essentially.
What’s the oddest pizza you’ve eaten?
Thom and I had some pretty mad ones in Tokyo, made with sushi or using avocado dough.
There’s a whole bit in the book about divisive ingredients – when we went to Sweden we discovered the most popular pizza there is topped with curried banana!
Is there any pizza you wouldn’t eat?
The worst one I’ve ever had was on a Ryanair flight. There’s a great (paraphrased) quote by Mel Brooks: ‘Pizza is like sex. Even when it’s bad, it’s good.’ I’m not sure that applied in this case.
Where’s the best place to eat pizza?
It’s a common misconception that all pizza in Italy is great. You have to stick to the cities it’s known for, like Rome and Naples.
Deep-dish pie in Chicago is amazing – try Gino’s East or Pequod’s. Paris has a really great pizza scene too. In London, there’s a guy in Spitalfields who sells his out of a van, called Sud Italia. I really rate him.
How often do you eat pizza now?
I try not to eat it every day but after eight years or so, I still haven’t got bored of it, so often it’s just inevitable!
Pizza: History, recipes, stories, people, places, love (A book by Pizza Pilgrims) is out on November 12.
More pizza news!
Napoli Gang, napoligang.co.uk
Big Mamma (creator of Gloria and Circolo Popolare) is bringing pizza and pasta to your door with Napoli Gang, a delivery-only restaurant. It’s initially available within two miles of its Shoreditch kitchen, as well as Kentish Town.
Berberè Pizzeria, berberepizza.it
Brothers Matteo and Salvatore Aloe, who have restaurants in Italy, have now opened their first UK outpost in Clapham. Berberè Pizzeria uses semi-whole, organic flour for its soft but crunchy dough.
Pizza Hut, pizzahut.co.uk
Pizza Hut has declared October Global Pizza Month in celebration of 40 years of its original delivery Pan Pizza. It’s launched a limited-edition pie and you can treat yourself to the All In One Pan Box Meal for £17.99.
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