Can a Manc pass off as an Authentic Italian in a Neapolitan Pizza Making Competition?

This weekend's Festa Italiana has given us an idea - an experiment to see just how important pizza dough really is!

By Steven Pankhurst | 26 July 2019

Share this story

When it comes to making the perfect pizza I’m certain that most will argue that it’s all about the base.
So we’ve decided to put the whole idea to the test and see just how important the dough is to a pizza, and most importantly – can just anyone do it?!

Chefs with years of experience at creating the perfect dough would certainly say that ‘No!’ – not everyone can do it – but is that really true? Well this Sunday we’re going to find out for sure.

For the past two weeks Finest’s own Matt White has been receiving ‘Dough Training’ from Maurizio Cecco, owner of Salvi’s into the intricacies of dough, what goes into it, how to treat it and most importantly, how to form it.

That’s just two weeks to try to fool a panel of esteemed Italian judges into thinking he is actually ‘Matteo Bianci’, a highly experienced pizza chef from Italy and producer of some of Manchester’s most famous and delicious Neapolitan pizzas from his fictional restaurant ‘A Pizza The Action’.

If you saw our first episode of Mad Dough you will have seen that Maurizio has quite strong ideas of what makes an authentic pizza, so hopefully Matt is in good hands!

The judges will all be flying over from Italy to test Manchester’s mettle in the pizza making arena, with one of Italy’s most renowned pizza chefs, Gianfranco Iervolino heading it all up. Alongside Gianfranco will be Carlo Molon, Executive Chef at the Sheraton Hotel on Lake Como and food writer Alessia Bianchi.

The idea is to simply produce the best pizza, and competitors will be judged on the texture and appearance of the dough, the shape of the dough, the taste of the topping, the overall appearance and taste of the pizza.

Can Matt (or ‘Matteo’) fool them? Head on down to Festa Italiana this Sunday to find out!


Pizzaiolo Competition at Festa Italiana

Venue: Cathedral Gardens
Date: Sunday 28th September
Time: 5.30pm
Cost: FREE