Two brothers, a three wheeler Piaggio Ape van and a passion for pizza. This is a recipe for a pizza pilgrimage. A brilliant new street food venture, to sell thin crust pizzas (Franco Manca style), cooked in a custom made oven out of the back of a three wheeler “peasant” van. Brilliant, only I wish I’d come up with it first.
Dorset born brothers James and Thom Elliot are no strangers to the food industry, from a young age their parents having always managed pubs. One of which I used to work in as a timid teen after leaving school, these pubs served fantastic food made with the best produce. So they are taking their knowledge and using it to their advantage, by packing in their hectic London lifestyles and travelling to the southern most part of the Italian mainland, Salerno, to collect their van and drive it 2000 miles across Italy, with a maximum speed of 40mph! That’s dedication.
During this epic drive they are hoping to immerse themselves in the Italian lifestyle, meeting local people and eating local food, developing their menu and researching the best Italian produce they can get their hands on. Best form of research I can think of doing. In my opinion Italian food is up there in my top five, actually I’ll even raise it to top three. To say I’m jealous would be a massive understatement.
James is the real ‘foodie’ of the two and has worked as a chef from the age of sixteen, he then came to London and left it behind but I’m glad to say he’s rediscovered his passion for food and is making the most of it. Thom the elder brother has been working in marketing but has also decided to give up the rat race and team up with James for this big adventure. I take my hat off to them. It’s a big risk but I definitely think its one worth taking. Their story has picked up media interest and through out their trip they’ll have a camera crew by their side, recording their every experience. The programme will be out in the new year and its going to be a gooden. Both boys have a brilliant sense of humour along with loads of enthusiasm, but it will be interesting to see after 2000 miles cramped in a small van, bellies full of pasta how they get on. I love my siblings I really do, I know for a fact we wouldn’t be speaking after the first mile.
Street food is a huge business within other countries around the world and street food markets are popping up left right and centre. Freshly sourced produce, made there right in front of you is the best kind. The street food culture is slowly emerging in the UK with markets around London so they’ve picked the right time to get involved.
James contacted me and asked me to blog on their trip, which is exactly what I’m going to do and I’m very excited to see their trip evolve. Find out about their experiences, their menu ideas, what amazing cheeses they’ve come across along the way not to mention meats, tomatoes and all the other essentials for a good pizza. Once back in the UK they’ll be selling their thin pizzas at festivals, weddings, parties, generally anywhere that will have them. I’ll have them please, permanently installed in my kitchen for my pizza needs, thank you kindly.
I have officially have the worlds slowest and most temperamental laptop which freezes every time I try to write a blog which is really helpful and is why I’ve been so slow with this, so apologies to the boys as they’ve already been there a week. But I promise to catch up!! I promise! They will be updating me along the way, and in turn I will be updating my blog so watch out for the next instalment.