When it comes to introducing gluten free items to your menu, Pizza Express have really gone the extra mile. Instead of simply adding a GF pizza base and feeling smug, they spent 18 months trying hundreds of bases to find the very best one, worked with Coeliac UK to make sure they were doing everything right, introduced measures to prevent the risk of cross contamination and invited a group of gluten free bloggers to give the seal of approval to the menu. Not content to just introduce a gluten free pizza base, Pizza Express are also launching a delicious risotto starter, Green's GF Pilsner and a rich gluten free brownie for dessert! The children's menu is getting the same treatment, with a gluten free piccolo pizza base and brownie.
|A gluten free pizza you can order with confidence!|
Last Monday, I went along to meet the team behind the new gluten free menu items and taste the results of their hard work. To say that Pizza Express listen to their customers would be an understatement! Head of Marketing, Emma has been carrying a print out of a guest post, written by @DavidJ_GF, voicing his concerns about the trials of the gluten free menu at selected restaurants. The whole team have been using the (very eloquently written) post as the basis for addressing the commonly held issues most Coeliacs have with GF items in chain restaurants. Pizza Express really care about how we (customers and Coeliacs) feel about eating at their restaurants and have been working with Coeliac UK to get NGCI accreditation so that anyone ordering a gluten free meal can to so with confidence.
Instead of being apologetic about their efforts at gluten free dining, the team at Pizza Express decided to work toward something they'd be proud to shout about and I think they should boast about the new menu!
To deal with the risk of contamination from airborne flour, Pizza Express have replaced all flour with a gluten free flour mix for dusting surfaces and stretching dough. All gluten free pizza bases are individually wrapped and as soon as the first GF pizza is ordered in a restaurant, the kitchen will open a new passata and mozzarella, use separate ladles and pizza screens and serve the pizza on special boards to distinguish the gluten free ones from the wheaty ones.
If that's not enough to fill your heart with cheer, then you'll be pleased to know that Food and Drink Manager, Holly and Development Chef, Anton's mammoth global effort (they actually sampled bases from as far away as Australia!) to source a really great pizza base has paid off. The pizzas are outstanding and all the more delicious for the peace of mind that comes from all the measures Pizza Express have put in place to ensure that cross contamination is not an issue in their kitchens.
|A delicious Risotto d'Oro for starter.|
Every member of Pizza Express staff have undergone thorough training, ready for the launch of the new menu tomorrow (30th April) and all new-starts will receive exactly the same training as part of their induction, so you can always be confident that your order is treated the same in every branch, every time you visit.
I'll definitely be heading to Pizza Express for the new menu launch on 30th April, find your nearest restaurant and try it, too!