Takeaway pizza is awesome. The oozy, cheesy, carby goodness brightens up the dullest of nights when delivered to your house. But have you ever tried to make your own gourmet pizza?
Making it easy for at-home cooks to nail their own pizza creations was the challenge Alex Nocera took on during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Alex launched his range of at-home products out of necessity when income came to a grinding halt in March.
As the news channels blared details of lockdown measures, his phone rang red hot with calls and emails canceling upcoming events for his catering business Alex the Pizza Guy. Over the course of three days, his revenue for March to May had gone from healthy and optimistic to zero.
After a few weeks of soul searching and settling into new routines of homeschooling, Alex and Marketing Manager Emma Neame reassessed their business situation. It was time to reinvent ‘Alex the Pizza Guy’.
The idea that resonated was helping home cooks achieve their own pizza perfection.
First, they set about the challenge of how to get their handmade wood-fired pizza bases delivered to local homes. After practising with techniques to ensure freshness and quality, coming to grips with packaging requirements and delivery logistics, they launched their offering on social media.
“We had no idea how good it would be! As soon as we started posting about home delivery on social media Canberrans really loved it and we had orders and shares straight away,” Emma told Region Media.
“We are now in our seventh week of delivery and have been growing the range to include ‘Nonna’s Pizza Sauce’, ‘Nonna’s Bolognese’, and Shredded Whole Milk Mozzarella Cheese. We are also collaborating with Spritz and Co to deliver their alcoholic beverages and will be partnering with Sfoglia Cafe & Patisserie to round out the offering with desserts.”
The pizza bases and sauces are all made fresh and when a new batch is ready, deliveries are made personally by Alex and his oldest son and business partner Nick. The business is a family affair with Alex drawing inspiration from all the ‘Nonnas’ in his life for the sauces and his love of cooking in general.
To achieve pizza greatness in your own home, Alex, who has been slinging dough for over half his life, shared his top tips:
- Preheat oven for at least 20 minutes to the hottest temperature possible – it is very important to have it hot
- Place your topped pizza in the middle rack to cook
- Check on it after 5 minutes and pull it out when it is golden brown
As for toppings, Alex recommends the below crowd-pleasers:
The Alex Special
- Top pizza with bolognese sauce and cheese
- Cook until golden brown
- Be the hero of your next family dinner with this family winner.
Prosciutto and Rocket
- Top pizza with pizza sauce and cheese
- Cook until golden brown
- Once cooked, cut into slices
- Top with prosciutto and rocket
- Add shavings of parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil for that gourmet finish.
To order your gourmet pizza pack head to the Alex the Pizza Guy Facebook page.
Original Article published by Sophia Brady on The RiotACT.