I’d not come across this before (can’t believe how I missed out hearing about it!), but we went pizza making at Pizza Express for our team’s work Christmas lunch. If you’re looking for something a bit different for a party idea, it’s definitely one to look out for.
They do children’s and adults versions, so something for any age.
We had a great time. There was someone looking after us and explaining what we’d be doing, then we had some demonstrations of the different stages we’d be doing by one of the chefs. Both were really friendly, and made the process a lot easier and straight forward than it might have been. They also did well coping with a group of work colleagues who’d already drunk their Prosecco, and who were just slightly excited at all the ideas they had for their pizza.
So what we did get included in the money?
- Nibbles when we arrived along with a glass of Prosecco
- Pizza – the one we made
We weren’t expecting a full on meal, just the pizza we’d be making so it was definitely a good deal for £20.
And if you thought we only made one pizza each, you’d be mistaken. We spent a few hours so there was plenty to do to fill the time.
First we practiced with pizza dough. Kneading with one batch, then a second batch was used to practice tossing the dough ‘circles’. The hardest bit was getting the dough thin enough without putting a hole in it, and managing to get it in a circular shape. Much hilarity and only one piece of dough dropped on the floor in our group. There was a competition for our non-pizza making colleagues to watch and judge the best at tossing a pizza.
We then made our own pizzas that we would eat. Of course, it’s all about the toppings and we could choose what we wanted. Some went all out and put loads on, others like me (I’m fussy so there’s limited toppings I like) opted to make one more similar to what I would usually order. I did try half a pizza with taleggio which I love in macaroni cheese, but it ended up being way too strong for a pizza!
While our pizzas were taken off ready to cook, we split into teams and 3 of us got to go into the kitchen and learn how to make calzone. Luckily the dough was already prepped and all we had to do was teach our team to make one, seal them off and then have them judged for the best one. It turned out all the crafting I’ve done in the past obviously stood me in good stead for creating the pretty seal on the edge (think like a pasty). Our calzone got judged the best which I was really pleased with. I’d never usually choose a calzone, but it was really delicious and huge once cooked. I’m not sure I’d be able to eat a whole one to myself, however piggy I can be.
It was a really fun afternoon – great for a work do as everyone (well mostly) can get involved as teams and individuals so it’s really sociable. I would imagine children would have a blast if it was their party as well. And it’s much more satisfying making food along with others, than when you make it at home.
I could definitely see this type of thing going down well at a normal tea party at home if you had the oven space for several pizzas. I usually add different toppings to bought pizzas, but I should really set out lots more for N to make his own occasionally, rather than him just pinching chopped peppers to eat off the chopping board while I’m cooking!
Have you ever had a Pizza Express party?