If you told me that we were opening tomorrow, I’d have known that it would have been a drastic learning curve, but I'd have figured we could probably have handled it. After meeting with another member of the pizza world yesterday, I can now tell you;
We would've been f**ked.
A speculative tweet a few weeks ago managed to get a great response from the twitterverse, and lead to a few different pizza enthusiasts getting in touch and offering us some experience. For those of you that follow our social media, you would have seen our field trip up Nottingham way, to the our first experience of work... experience… (Big head, limited vocab).
The Little Pizza Box is a company based around Nottinghamshire ran by a guy called Mark. We arrived about midday and were immediately greeted with a full 15 page start-up guide (which I’m currently going through as I write this), which was above and beyond the call of duty anyway, but it didn’t stop there. We had a chat about the pizza industry, where Mark trades, types of gig, prep times and general pizza nausing before we got to some work.
First things first: Pizza Shaping and Kneading
Mark threw 2 pieces of dough down, and said “ Let’s see what your skills are like. Make a pizza”. Now, I spend the vast majority of my spare time watching YouTube, and more specifically, cooking/pizza videos. So I went into this with a bit of arrogance. In my head I was thinking “Ha, Al is useless at this stuff. I’m gonna nail it first time.” So you can imagine my horror when I heard “There we go, Al’s getting it. Ethan…that’s interesting.” To cut a long story short my dough got rolled back up and swiftly discarded. Balls.
It was a bit of a leveller, we had a long way to go. Some of us more than others.
Luckily Mark showed us the correct tekkers, and we slowly got there. Next job was having a look at the trailer layout, and lighting the oven ready for a little play later. I don’t want to tell you all the secrets of the layout and his oven lighting tekkers, but just be assured that we can now light a pizza oven.
We still had to actually make the dough. Now the fact that Mark shared his dough recipe with us was like the KFC colonel revealing his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices. Unheard of. We got to work, but the job was made harder by a man with a semi broken arm and his one shouldered brother kneading dough for 15 minutes. We had two good arms between us, so I suppose it evens out! Tweedledum and Tweedledee grafting away, although we did learn that we don’t have to buy a dough mixer. So, that’s £800 saved. One less thing. In to prove and on to the next one.
We were then hit with a full on Blue Peter “here’s one I made earlier” moment, as Mark emerged with a full tray of balled dough, and we headed out to the oven to give actually cooking a bit of a go. This is where it got interesting. I don’t want this blog to turn into a budget novel, so I’ll save that for the next installment. Second slice coming when I can be arsed to write it.
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