Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Vegan Pizza Party @PizzaExpress


This week, I attended the first ever Vegan Pizza Making Party at Pizza Express. Held in the newly refurbished Gloucester Road branch, I ventured into London to make my very own vegan/dairy free pizza. I should start by saying I’m a pescatarian, so I don’t have any meat in my diet but do eat fish. I’ve also gone through phases of giving up fish and being entirely vegetarian and prefer to avoid cow’s milk. Many of my friends are vegetarian or vegan and Brighton is a wonderful place for it with an abundance of vegan/vegetarian options available in cafes, restaurants and shops. I have eaten many vegan dishes in the past but this was the first time at sampling a vegan pizza.

The Pizza Express team
We started the evening with introductions and it was lovely to meet other bloggers and so many members of the Pizza Express team. We heard how the vegan menu was formed with the introduction of vegan cheese on the Giardiniera pizza in June 2017. We discovered how it had taken a couple of years of research and sourcing to find the appropriate ingredients for the vegan menu!



Now it was time to make our own. We started off with stretching the pre-made dough with our fingers by pressing to form a flat pizza base. Then one of the best bits – tossing the dough and throwing it up in the air! The baker showed us how this was done and, of course, he made it look super easy. Trying it ourselves, not so easy but fun nonetheless. We put our dough into a pan and were given a dollop of tomato sauce. Rather than spoon it around the base we were required to shake and tilt our trays until the sauce had spread evenly. As with most things, it looked easier than demonstrated but a lot of fun to try!



Then it was time for the toppings! One of the things I find interesting with vegetarian and vegan dishes is you need to be imaginative and experimental with ingredients you wouldn’t usually try. This was the very first time I tasted roquito pearls, little sumptuous sweet red peppers. I added just a few to my pizza and the difference in taste was amazing! Along with the roquito pearls my toppings included mushrooms, artichokes, red onions, tomatoes, olives, and lastly a good amount of vegan cheese sprinkled over the top. 


Once finished our pizzas were baked in less than 10 minutes and ready before we knew it. I can honestly say my vegan pizza was one of the tastiest pizzas I’ve ever eaten! I haven’t been too impressed with vegan cheese in the past but I couldn’t tell the difference with this pizza. The crispy base, tomato sauce & combination of toppings was truly delicious! Along with a starter of dough balls and a dessert of raspberry sorbet, the entire meal was vegan. 



At the end of the meal, as all the bloggers chatted about how tasty our pizzas were, we spoke with Rupi, Head of Quality & Safety at Pizza Express. This was one of the best things about the evening because I discovered so much more about the history & diversity of Pizza Express. I didn’t know the company was founded in 1965 & is now based in several countries. I didn’t know about the charities the company supports or how they strive to do the best thing for the environment. Nor did I know each restaurant has an allergen and nutritional information folder which provides alternatives for a wide range of food requirements such as vegan, vegetarian and dairy free. Any customer can request looking at the folder in any Pizza Express branch. With all the cheese and butter substitutes, there are currently 7 vegan pizzas available at all Pizza Express restaurants.

The pizza making party, meeting new bloggers, eating our delicious vegan pizzas and talking to the staff of Pizza Express made for a wonderful evening. I can say with all honesty that this was one of the best blogger events I’ve been to! Although I’ve eaten at Pizza Express so many times in the past, my opinion of the restaurant has risen since this night. If you would like to hold your own vegan pizza making party simply ring your local branch and making a booking. The vegan pizzas are highly recommended!
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Thanks so much to Pizza Express for an amazing evening! 
This is a collaborative post with Tots100/Pizza Express. All words and opinions are my own. 

Have you eaten a vegan pizza? Would you try one? I'd love to hear your thoughts! ☺

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3 comments

  1. Such a fun night and was so lovely to meet you!

    Love,
    Ali

    www.alihemsley.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh that looks like so much fun. And brilliant to see vegan diets being catered for. The pizza looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that more chain restaurants are widening who they cater for! Looks like a good event!

    ReplyDelete

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