Dairy cheese is no longer a pivotal factor when assessing the quality of pizza. A completely dairy-free vegan pizza just won Best Pizza at the UK’s National Pizza Awards.
The winning vegan pie was submitted by Purezza, an established plant-based pizzeria with two locations in Brighton and London. The micro-chain’s Parmigiana Party pizza took the crown, beating out the animal-based competition. Inspired by the traditional Italian parmigiana, the wood-fired dough is topped with house-made dairy-free smoked mozzarella, fried aubergine, seitan sausage, fresh basil, and a dusting of nutritional yeast. The expert pizza judges praised the pie for its “innovative ingredients.”
Judges also gave a nod to what the pizza represents – the rising consumer demand for more quality plant-based options. Charlotte Mellor, the editor of Casual Dining Magazine who played the role of the competition’s announcer, told theIndependent, “The increase in the number of people following a plant-based diet has led to a high demand for better-quality vegan products and a rise in eatablishments that cater to this market.” She continued, “Not only does Purezza represent this growth, but it’s also celebrated by its customers for simply making great pizza.”
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The Parmigiana Party is one of the restaurant’s most popular pizzas. Diners can also choose from a motley of classic Italian and not-so-classic vegetable-based sides and entrees. There’s the hearty Calzone and confronting Lasagna Classica, but also Mac’ n’ Cheese, Harissa Corn & Peanuts, and the Pure Bowl, a nutritious option made with quinoa, butternut squash, chickpeas, apples, fermented onions, kale, and cashew cream cheese. Gluten-free options are available as well.
Purezza head chef Filippo Rosato was thrilled when he learned that his creation had topped 13 other non-vegan contenders. “It’s unbelievable. To get this sort of recognition for something that I love is the best feeling I’ve ever had. I’m really, really proud, because I really believe in this project.”
Tim Barclay and Stefania Evangelisti co-founded the restaurant in 2015, creating the UK’s first completely plant-based pizza parlor. Since then, vegan pizza has gained momentum in the country, as well as abroad. This recognition cements the couple’s hard work and dedication, and as Rosato says, it proves they have created “something really special.”
Image Credit: Purezza
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