International Women’s Day is here, just in time for the first instalment of our Meet the Chef series. So, in the spirit of all things girl power, we’re putting female foodie, Emma Gregory, in the spotlight.

As Food & Drink Innovations Manager at Prezzo, she heads up everything new, exciting and delish they have to offer (which might just be our dream job.) To find out more about life at Prezzo, her day to day and what inspires her, we put our Meet the Chef questions to her…

 

As Food & Drink Innovations Manager, Emma and her team are right at the heart of creating menus and dishes. Dealing with delish produce from all around the world, mainly Italy, they scout some ingredients out at industry shows and some in restaurants on the streets of Italy and chatting with chefs. Emma tells us: “They’re so passionate about the ingredients they work with and are always keen to share. The business has a strong relationship with some of our producers going back over 15 years.”

“Prezzo in 5 words is..Fresh, Tasty, Variety, Family Favourites, Great Portions.”

Emma Gregory, Food and Drink Innovations Manager

“My favourite dessert on our menu is the vanilla pana cotta”

Emma Gregory, Food and Drinks Innovations Manager

 

Every ingredient has to be up to scratch to meet a specific set of qualities, which Emma gets hands on with: “You’ll quite often find our Head of Food & Drink and myself dropping and throwing products around to ensure they hold up to manual handling through our distribution. We of course take care when delivering our products, but it’s just become part of our testing over time.” (FYI: No ingredients are ever harmed.)

When it comes to creating dishes, they only serve up the very best that they know their customers will love: “Our development process captures customer feedback, the latest health & trend topics along with portion review.” Emma and her team also work really closely with the Technical Manager to make sure allergens are taken into consideration. And they also have a large amount of gluten free dishes to choose from too, offering up pizza and pasta options for every foodie.

Dishes are drinks are then put through their paces, tested at three restaurants to start with, before rolling them out across another ten to gain customer thoughts and feedback.

Thanks to their dedication to sourcing the best ingredients, designing the most delish dishes and gaining customer feedback, Prezzo’s expertise and passion for Italian food shine through. And Emma puts this all down to the people “Prezzo are extremely passionate about the people who work with them, which makes development easy. If you can be passionate and have fun when developing, I believe it really shows through in the end results of what you have created.” We’re totally with you on that, Emma.

Prezzo’s most ordered

Starter: Fried Mozzarella in breadcrumbs prepared fresh every day “Our customers love this.”

Main: Posh Pepperoni pizza “It’s become such a classic pizza and we use three different types of cured meats.

What’s your first cooking memory?
“I attempted to cook my first lasagne at around age 14. It was my mum’s signature dish and she loved making it. I was so certain I’d nail it first time and it would taste just as good as my mum’s, if not better. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. My pasta was overcooked, and I forgot to add the passata sauce to my mince and veg mix. I’m delighted to say now though that my lasagne’s much improved and become my children’s favourite dish.”

What inspired you to get into cooking?
“My Mum and my Nan. My mum inspired me to become an accomplished cook as despite her making a delicious lasagne and the best roast dinner, that was sadly about as far as her cooking skills went. Growing up, all our meals were beige and served with a side of chips. My grandparents owned a fish & chip shop too so most of our meals were leftovers brought home at the end of the shift. My friends thought it was great!”

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“I couldn’t think of anything worse than being restricted to one meal. That would be truly awful. But in the spirit of things, I guess it would be a roast dinner.”

Five ingredients you can’t live without?
“Garlic, eggs, chicken, flour, coffee…or maybe wine.”

The strangest ingredient you’ve ever cooked with? How did it turn out?
“Chia seeds. These little seeds can be so unpredictable. I remember spending weeks trying to perfect a chia seed ‘Bircher’ style breakfast product. My first attempt wasn’t great. It tasted like a very strange jelly and looked like frog spawn.”

If you could share a meal with anyone, who would it be and what would you eat?
“It would have to be either Adam Handling, I think he’s a brilliant Chef, or Louis Theroux, who I find completely fascinating. And we’d eat Pizza. It’s such a great food item for easy eating over great conversation.”

Favourite music to cook to?
“I love many styles of music but I’m quite partial to a bit of Queen when cooking.”

 

Favourite Prezzo dish to eat?
“That’s a tough one. It’d be a toss-up between our Oven Roasted Salmon Fillet with saffron sauce and tender-stem veg or our Crab & Lobster Tortellini garnished with fresh wilted spinach and finely sliced red chillies. My favourite dessert is our Vanilla panna cotta served with forest fruit compote. And my favourite drink is our signature G&T which tastes as good as it looks.”

Dining at Prezzo in five words…
“Fresh, tasty, variety, family favourites, great portions.”

“I love many styles of music but I’m quite partial to a bit of Queen when cooking.”

Emma Gregory, Food and Drink Innovations Manager
“5 ingredients I cant live without…Garlic, eggs, chicken, flour, coffee…or maybe wine.”
Emma Gregory, Food and Drinks Innovations Manager

Want to try Emma’s favourites?

Find your nearest Prezzo here

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