Thirsty Merc Live at the X Friday 16th July. Tickets on sale now!
Meet Franco, the Head Pizza Chef at The Exchange.
He’s the man you’ll find throwing bases, mixing dough, and bringing your pizza dreams to life in our woodfired pizza oven.
Proudly Sicilian and passionate about Italian food, Franco brings over 24 years of experience in creating and perfecting his own signature pizza dough which is sure to blow everyone who tries it away. Don’t take our word for it though, you can watch Franco in action as he creates perfect pizzas right in front of you in the Pizza bar!
We caught up with him to find out what makes his pizzas so damn delicious.
Tell us the key to creating the perfect pizza dough?
It’s all about time. Let the dough rise and don’t cook it before it’s risen. Be patient, making sure you do the resting process will ensure the dough stretches properly.
What inspired you to become a pizza chef?
I kind of fell into it, when I was younger I got into cooking and baking, it was fun but I didn’t love it. Then I got thrown into making pizzas and from day one I knew this is what I wanted to do. I’m a perfectionist so I was keen to learn anything and everything there was to know about pizza making.
What’s your personal favourite pizza?
How does the woodfired pizza oven affect the pizza / make it better?
The wood-fired pizza oven gives the pizza a completely different flavour. It depends on what type of wood you use in the pizza oven as to what flavour it will give the pizza. We use a red hardwood which maintains it’s heat and the flavour that comes off it goes into the pizza, creating a nice smoky flavour in every bite.
Are there any cooking traditions you’ve brought with you from Italy?
While pizza originates from Napoli, not many people realise that different regions in Italy all have their own unique take on pizzas. Some prefer a thin, crunchy pizza while others love a thicker, soft base. I’ve combined bits and pieces from each method to create what I believe is the perfect pizza dough.