UK's best pizza can be found in Peckham

A new restaurant in Peckham served up the winning recipe at this year’s National Pizza Awards. Mike’s Peckham, which only opened in April 2021, impressed industry judges at the UK-wide event with its Roman-style Dondini pizza, featuring in-house nduja, roasted corno peppers dressed with white balsamic vinegar, house-pickled jalapeños, sheep's milk ricotta and finocchiona salami.

The winning dish, which was cooked by chef Francesco Canzani during the final, saw off competition from 14 other pizzas from across the country. The Dondini dough, made up of Tipo 2 Buratto, stoneground spelt and emmer flour, is cold-proofed for 24 hours, shaped and then cold-proofed for a further 24 hours, topped with Mike’s tomato sauce.

“Francesco has worked so hard to make a dough as special as it is,” said Mike Davies, co-owner of Mike’s Peckham and sister site The Camberwell Arms. “It’s a little bit different from the other kinds of pizzas that were in the final, so it’s nice to have that kind of representation.

Francesco Canzani, Mike's Peckham

“Roman-style pizza – especially pizza Italia, which is the kind of pizza that we make – is really not an old tradition; it’s probably about 40 years old. Neapolitan pizza has obviously been made for a lot longer than that.

"The thing about Roman as a tradition is that there are less rules, so it means that we can be a bit more flexible with toppings. You’ll find things that you wouldn’t necessarily find on a more classic pizza. I love all kinds of pizza to be honest, but I’m quite excited by the idea of something a bit less traditional getting the credit it deserves.”

The event also crowned a Pizza Chef of the Year, which went to Laurence Tottingham of Revolution Bars Group. He created a stunning Technical Pizza from ingredients supplied by the event’s sponsors.

Hosted by food and drink broadcaster Nigel Barden, the National Pizza Awards 2021 was sponsored by Tabasco, Birra Morretti, Diversey, Mutti Pomodoro, Peppadew, Schulstad, Jestic, MOTH, Galbani, Properoni and Fleet Street Communications.

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