With Veganuary in full swing, we wanted to take the opportunity to give you an update on how we are looking to develop more recipes that are suitable for vegans, as well as the options already available at PizzaExpress. Here is our Head of Food and Drink, Holly Davies:
'We pride ourselves on listening to you about what you want to see on our menu, which is why we now introduce new food and drink five times a year, every time using it as an opportunity to listen to your feedback. For a long time you have been telling us you want to see more choices for vegans and it has not gone unnoticed, with some great additions joining our menu over the years. And with so many great chefs and some of our favourite food brands now creating inspiring vegan recipes, it has happily become a real focus for our food team.
When we find the right products or the right recipes, we want to try them out with you, and we will only do that when we are sure we have got them just right. Just last week I tasted a vegan cheese from Italy and took it straight to our development kitchen to taste on our pizza, made using our dough which is completely free of animal and dairy products and our passata sauce is made from only crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, fresh basil & oregano. This means we can have lots of fun trying out new recipe combinations as and when we find great tasting vegan ingredients!
We don’t think you always need ingredient substitutions to have great tasting recipes that offer choice. As all of our pizzas are made by hand to order, it is really easy to design a recipe to your taste. Our Pianta pizza simply comes without cheese and is loaded with some of our favourite vegan ingredients from our menu. Originally inspired by the simple Marinara, also traditionally made without cheese and one of the first made pizzas in Naples (which happens to be where our founder Peter Boizot fell in love with the great taste of Italian pizza), the Pianta is vegan friendly, fresh and flavoursome with a simple base of our famous passata, chilli flakes, garlic and extra virgin olive oil, topped with artichokes, spinach, mushrooms, pine kernels and rocket. Delicious.
And if you don’t just love us for our pizza, we have gorgeous marinated olives or roasted tomatoes to start and a personal favourite of mine, our warm hot fluffy dough balls with olive oil and balsamic instead of garlic butter. You just have to ask. And I will let you into another (not very well kept) secret- you are welcome to bring in your own vegan cheese. We can’t keep it in house for your weekly visit! But we can make your pizza that day for you to enjoy, you just have to ask. Then, if you fancy something sweet to finish, there’s the dairy-free raspberry sorbet. If you like that, then you will love what is coming in March, another sorbet so creamy, you won’t believe that it’s vegan too.
With all that and a promise from us to keep creating and tasting new vegan recipes and products for our future menus (it’s a hard life) from all of us here at PizzaExpress, we wish you a very happy Veganuary.'
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