fishy toppings & eating the crust

Pizza parties were always welcomed in school as a slightly defiant act of clandestine recklessness; we were never supposed to tell other classes what was happening since the teacher throwing it usually feared it would turn the rest of the faculty against them when excluded students began to pout mutinously over the fact that they had to learn while others got to play.

As of late, I've also been pouting mutinously (and having a few bemoaning outbursts) in response to an unwanted and rather aggressive tutorial I'm getting in the British's nonsensical approach to legal dealings and customer "service." This means that not only am I still homeless, I am also getting menacing emails from lettings agents written ALL IN CAPS with statements like BREACH OF CONTRACT and WE HATE YOU AND WANT YOU TO DIE. All I can say is, well, at the end of the day, at least I'm still getting invited to underground pizza parties.

The particular event in question (at an undisclosed location in Soho - oooh) was a relatively swanky launch for the new autumn menu at Pizza Express (I mean, swanky relative to a pizza chain, but there was live jazz music and a recognized chef in the house). Chef Theo Randall, known for his rustic Italian food, who trained with Alice Waters and was at the helm of The River Cafe when it won its Michelin star, recently accepted Pizza Express' invitation to add four crusty creations to its menu.

If we had let the PR girl drag Randall out from behind the stove to speak with us (as she happily would have done, but we sort of chickened out/dismissed the idea/what truly intelligent and interesting question could we ask?) we definitely would have brought up the subject of fish, since three of the four pizzas he created centered around seafood. Kasey's favourite was Theo's Gamberettini, which was generously scattered with teeny tiny baby shrimps, shredded zucchini and creme fraiche. It looked delicious. But the only one I could eat was the vegetarian version of the Favorita, which, with fresh oregano and olives was a pretty typical pizza if you ask me, but hey, with some Prosecco - why not?

But perhaps the highlight of the evening was when the pizza dough creator/entertainer, Dane, somehow talked us into learning how to appropriately form and throw pizza dough. So there Kasey and I were, in the corner throwing misshapen disks of pizza dough and getting coated in flour while everyone else was behaving refined and enjoying the piano music. Even though I dropped my uncooked crust on the floor (he assured nobody would have the misfortune of eating it later) Dane said I had picked up on the technique rather well.

Our teacher impressively tossing (and catching) his crust.

Ah, at least I take some of my lessons without much of a struggle!

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