This month’s Meet the Chef is a good’en. Antenor Siquiera is the Food Development Chef at one of our favourite big brand restaurants, PizzaExpress. Known for their delicious pizza and almighty Dough Balls, we found out what makes their menu so good and what Antenor’s day to day is like.
What’s your day to day at PizzaExpress?
Antenor told us: “My day always starts with a strong espresso! Then I turn my attention to making sure all our fresh ingredients and dough are perfectly prepped. And the rest is easy – all you need is passion for the day ahead to create great tasting pizza with flair and style.”
What’s your role at PizzaExpress?
A big part of Antenor’s role at PizzaExpress is to develop new recipes for the menu. And like any job, it comes with its challenges: “Developing a new menu isn’t as easy as people might think. We try to ensure there’s something for everyone. I love listening to our customers ideas and thinking about how we can use this as inspiration to innovate.” PizzaExpress have a cracking range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, so we can vouch for their variety.
What’s so great about the PizzaExpress menu?
PizzaExpress are known for their fresh, authentic Italian pizza. And there’s a reason they’re just so darn good: “Firstly, our dough. It’s the foundation of our unique PizzaExpress taste. Our special house-recipe hasn’t changed since day one, some 54 years ago! Secondly, high quality ingredients. They add all those rich flavours to our pizzas, which our superfans have come to know and love so much.”
Now we know a little more about PizzaExpress and Antenor’s role, we put our Meet the Chef questions to him to get to the nitty gritty…
What’s your first cooking memory?
“At home in Brazil with my family cooking a BBQ by the river while out fishing.”
What inspired you to get into cooking?
“My Mum! She’s a superb cook, who has inspired me to do what I do today.”
Describe dining at PizzaExpress in five words…
“Caring, real, fun, delicious and wow.”
What dish gets ordered most?
“The classic Margherita pizza.”
What’s your favourite PizzaExpress dish?
“Dough Balls without a doubt.”
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“A flame-grilled charcoal BBQ.”
What 5 ingredients couldn’t you live without?
“Garlic, salt, olive oil, parmesan and wine!”
What’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever cooked with?
“Marmite and it really wasn’t for me. Sorry, to all those Marmite lovers out there!”
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