The idea for Pizza Pilgrims was really born in the pub. We both worked "normal jobs" but really wanted to get into food. Myself and my brother were discussing our options over a pint one evening (maybe a few) and came up with the idea of street food as a good way to get into food without a budget. We quickly settled on pizza - just because no one seemed to be doing it in street food - and the rest just snowballed from there. The idea for the pilgrimage to Italy was born out of it being cheaper to collect the van from there, rather than have it delivered. It turned into an amazing voyage of discovery and the reason for the name of the business! We learned so much on that trip that we had no idea about before!
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?
I really wouldn’t want to change that much (although maybe a Caribbean outpost could work out…). We just want to serve great pizzas, in fun places - and make sure everyone is enjoying the ride.
If you could only cook one of your own products/recipes, what would it be & why?
I personally think a top Neapolitan Margherita is hard to beat. It is the definition of simplicity - and as a result really highlights the difference using quality ingredients makes. It is the measure of any pizzeria - so it is an important one to keep making, improving (and eating!)
You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?
Easy. Bruce Springsteen.
Burgers and Bruce - the blog) - but he had Italian heritage. I did see him perform in Naples last year - and he has family from there. I think it would need to be something homely and hearty for that reason - maybe a Aubergine Parmagiana!
James and Thom haven't rested on their laurels and over the last couple of years they have released their first book - Pizza Pilgrims : Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy, which shows you how to make the best pizza. The book focuses on the key ingredients and techniques that will make your pizza stand out from the crowd as well as showcasing other cherished Italian recipes from the brothers. You can buy your own copy of Pizza Pilgrims from Amazon.
As if they weren't busy enough, the boys have also managed to find time to produce their own branded liqueur, Sohocello. With the help of Chase Distillery, Pizza Pilgrims use the most fragrant Amalfi lemons to create their own take on the classic Italian digestivo.