Yes, you read that right - I was once a pizza god and I loved every minute of it.
Let's backtrack. At the end of August, a few of us pizza enthusiasts were gathered by Zomato at Pizza Pilgrims in Kingly Court for one very important, potentially life-changing mission: judge a selection of pizzas created by the chefs at PP, and crown one as the winner and October special. The X Factor of the pizza world, if you will.
I'll admit, it felt a little dangerous, wielding so much power. But I swallowed my nerves and got to work with my fellow judges, who all had their mental scorecards and flashing cameras ready.
I knew one thing would be certain - I've professed my love for Pizza Pilgrims before on the blog, and I felt reassured that no matter how wacky the toppings, the dough would be faultless for them all. I definitely wasn't disappointed with that part!
Onto the contestants...
First up, we had The Mellow Yellow by Dario (Ricotta infused with saffron, fried courgettes, provola & Parmesan bread crumbs). We all nodded in agreement that this one was pretty nice - not a showstopper, but one that I would probably order from time to time. It was a tad bland, and could have used a little something extra in the flavour department.
We were also given a few Margerita pizzas as a "palette cleanser" - got to love the Italians.
Now, I hope you'll forgive me for straying from the chronological order of these pizzas - I want to save the best (which was the majority winner) for last! A little artistic licence is ok, I think?
So, next up was the Sausage & Mash by Alessio (White pizza with Italian fennel salsiccia, onion & porcini gravy, mashed potato, basil & parmesan). It was what it says on the tin - literally sausage and mash on a pizza. This was actually really good flavour-wise, I'm just not keen on potato as a pizza topping? For the true Brit in you, this is a good one in any case.
Followed by the Bumblebee & Tuna by Giada (Margherita with tuna, sweetcorn, black olives, sliced red onion, parmesan & basil). While this was ok, the combination felt like something you would get in Pizza Hut (obviously this was much more superior in quality and taste!) - not particularly original, and not one I would choose from a menu.
The penultimate creation was The P.L.T. by Matteo (White pizza with provola & porchetta, dressed with fresh romaine lettuce and sliced beef tomatoes). A clever idea that the chef had wanted to serve folded up like a pizza sandwich, it was good in principle but not what I look for in a pizza. There were others who liked it though and said that the lightness of the toppings highlighted the perfect base, which is a plus!
But the best, most delicious one of all was the Zucca, I am your Father by Fabio (Pumpkin puree base, rosemary, provola & pancetta). Oh my, this was one dreamy pizza. Not only do I love the name of it, the whole combination and idea was spot on - the rosemary was fried which made a big difference, and the pumpkin just worked perfectly with the pancetta. It was definitely the favourite for most of us, and it was decided as the clear winner...
...which means, you can go to Pizza Pilgrims from tomorrow and Zucca, I am your Father will be on the menu as the special of the month for you all to try!
Just look at it. You need to go and eat it ASAP.
Honestly, it is so, so good - I'm planning to go there and eat it again myself. Feel free to join me!
The night wasn't over yet, because apparently, we all have bottomless stomachs. Along with shots of Pococello (a less-sweet limoncello, which I was a fan of), we were treated to the beauty that is their signature Nutella and salted ricotta pizza ring - yes, as ridiculously indulgent and amazing as it sounds. A must try, and if you go on a date there and your date doesn't like this dessert, you should rethink things.
Also, check out the incredible personalised pizza illustration that the Zomato team created for me - literally me in a pizza-shaped nutshell. Amazing.
Big thanks again to Zomato (you can follow my restaurant reviews on Zomato here) and Pizza Pilgrims - I had so much fun, and you can thank us all later when you've tried that pizza. Trust us, it's a very special special!