Italian chef Francesco Mazzei creates dishes for Pizza Express

19 November 2009 by
Italian chef Francesco Mazzei creates dishes for Pizza Express

Italian chef Francesco Mazzei, chef proprietor of London restaurant L'Anima, has joined forces with high street chain Pizza Express, Caterersearch can reveal.

Mazzei has become the group's latest guest chef and has created six signature dishes which will be available at Pizza Express restaurants across the UK from February.

The dishes, which include two starters, a pasta dish and three pizzas, are inspired by the Calabria region in southern Italy. Mazzei, who has spent six months developing the dishes, will train Pizza Express chefs across the country on their delivery.

The dishes include: Insalata Semplice, a starter salad of Santos and vine tomatoes with fresh rocket and buffalo mozzarella; Tricolore, a take on the classic mozzarella and tomato salad with oregano; and tagliolini pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce that is baked in the pizza oven.

Mazzei's specially created pizzas include Mia Sofia, a pizza without a tomato base with a truffle paste and a mixture of mushrooms; Calabrese featuring spicy Italian sausage, fresh green chillies, roquito peppers and pesto-dressed watercress; and Rustichella including crisp pancetta on marinated roasted tomatoes, fresh rocket, grana padano and Caesar dressing.

Mazzei said he was excited about the project. "I've been able to marry my creative strengths with Pizza Express's skill in taking great quality food to such a wide audience; thousands of people every day," he said.

Mazzei is the second guest chef to join forces with Pizza Express after Theo Randall, who runs his eponymous restaurant at the InterContinental hotel Park Lane, created a range of pizzas for the chain last autumn.

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By Kerstin Kühn

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