With Canberra’s warm spring evenings stretching out longer now that daylight savings has kicked in, alfresco dining is back. Sweep the cobwebs off the BBQ and stock up on bags of ice to keep drinks cold. It is a fabulous time of year.
One luxury I have always wanted to have in my backyard is a woodfired pizza oven. Homemade pizza in the kitchen oven is tasty, but the added flavour you get from cooking with a wood-fired pizza oven is unsurpassable. The theatre, and perhaps the primitiveness of creating the pizzas outside, adds to the experience.
Alex the Pizza Guy is the next best thing to owning your own pizza oven this spring/summer. In fact, seeing as he preps the pizza, makes the pizza and then takes all the cleaning up away with him, he may just be the ACTUAL best thing!
I met Alex the Pizza Guy when he catered a wedding I attended last year. Now, a couple of months later, we meet up for a chat as he makes pizzas at a pet function at Moncrieff Park.
While he talks, Alex deftly throws together a Margherita pizza. He slides it into the mobile pizza oven on a long paddle, and in exactly 90 seconds it is out and I am nibbling on a still-sizzling slice of pizza. The crust is perfect, soft and tender with large bubbles; the edges crisp and just beginning to char. Cooked at about 350 degrees, Alex’s pizza has that magical quality, that je ne sais quoi that I keep trying to force out of my poor kitchen oven. And with just two or three simple ingredients strewn across it, this pizza tastes bellissimo!
Both Alex’s boys are with him today. Alex the Pizza Guy is a family affair, with his wife and two sons often working alongside him. Eldest son, Nick is now a partner in the business.
For over 19 years, Alex has been making pizza; over half his life. The passion for creating delicious food runs in his veins. Alex counts his nonna and mother as key culinary inspirations. He grew up with a Calabrian family that celebrated mealtimes, with the family gathering around the table to eat together. Alex can’t remember a time when he didn’t love cooking. He says his Mum and Nonna spent hours cooking and baking with him, teaching him traditional Italian recipes.
Alex is proud to be the only Italian wood-fired pizza caterer in Canberra. As far as how many people his business can feed in a sitting, he says, “I haven’t said no to any group size yet”.
One pizza oven can comfortably cater a group of 150, but now with a second pizza oven, he can produce double that.
Fifteen different pizzas feature on Alex the Pizza Guy’s online menu, but they do not want to be pigeonholed as only making pizza. Alex and Nick offer variety and can provide a full three-course meal for an event.
Their antipasto platters feature fresh bread straight from the pizza oven and for dessert their cannoli is a family recipe.
And for the ultimate function, Alex the Pizza Guy have teamed up with Spritz & Co who will keep your glasses filled with fresh spritzes, wine and more.
If you want to learn the magic of creating beautiful Italian pizza, Alex and Nick offer cooking classes. As well as regular classes, they can tailor classes to suit a party or to be fun start to a buck’s or hen’s event. Each class ends with lunch; eating the pizza you made and enjoying a glass of wine.
It is fitting that Alex and his family share their love of making fantastic pizza. Alex leaves me with a quote that is now stuck on my fridge: “Find what you love, and scale it.”
To contact Alex the Pizza Guy about catering your event, phone 0430 288 506 or email [email protected].
Original Article published by Michelle Taylor on The RiotACT.