Pizza Express have recruited celebrity chef Valentine Warner to create two new pizzas for them to add to their already extensive menu. In fact, we should say re-recruited, as Warner has worked for them previously in a very different capacity, as a waiter during his studying days. His two creations are available in all Pizza Express restaurants. To celebrate the collaboration we went along to one of the restaurants for a pizza masterclass...
His fennel and salami pizza is heavy on the fennel but without the strong aniseed taste you might expect. Fresh fennel is combined with fennel infused salami and fennel seeds along with chilli flakes and mozzarella. The flavours are mild but complementary with the fresh herb working well with the soft salami. Finished with lemon oil and grana padano, this is a great pizza we'd be delighted to see become a permanent addition to the menu.
The second pizza is a classic puttanesca (which we didn't realise had quite such a filthy English translation - google it) with a stronger, more intense combination of toppings. Bold olives and capers give it a salty hit, but the real punch comes from marinated anchovies making this a very robust pizza even before the fresh red chillies, garlic oil and fresh oregano. As well as eating Valentine's pizzas, you can experience him introducing them too using your smartphone. Simply scan the QR code on the menu and it will activate a video of him sharing his inspiration for the pizzas. Also new to the menu is a new coleslaw side dish, white cabbage, spring onion, carrot and rocket in the Pizza Express house dressing. And to finish the meal, a new raspberry sorbet has been introduced - dairy free and low in fat too.