PIZZA lovers from as far afield as Sheffield flocked to the grand opening of Derby’s newest pizza takeout.
Honest Pizzas, a New York-style pizza outlet which boasts the biggest pizzas – 18-inches of delicious gooeyness – in Derby, served free slices to hundreds of foodies from its Manor Road base today (Saturday, July 11).
Set up by husband-and-wife Easton and Anastasia Andrea – who also run House of Darwin, in Chellaston – Honest Pizzas hired a 2003 New York yellow taxi and welcomed Project Whippy; the exciting ice-cream spin-off from Derby doughnut entrepreneurs, Project D to the launch.
Sisters Alice and Jess came all the way from Sheffield to enjoy pizza and doughnuts while couple Mat and Jess, who moved to Belper from New York three years ago to work as maritime archaeologists, said that the pizza reminded them of home.
Developed by head chef Richard Dean, Honest Pizzas make their dough and speciality sauce on site using mainly locally-sourced ingredients.
The classic pepperoni has proved a best-seller with the folk of Derby while there has been huge demand, too, for their soft-baked cookies.
Easton, who also runs the hugely successful gastro-pub House of Darwin, in Chellaston, said: “In Richard, we have one of the most talented chefs in the area and he has worked extremely hard in getting Honest Pizzas up and running during lockdown.
“Richard has great knowledge and has been key to our early success. We use, where possible, British-farmed produce and we buy our meat in from Owen Taylor and Sons. Some of our produce is imported from Italy, if we believe that, for example, they have the best tomatoes for our sauce. We want to ensure that our pizzas are the best that you’ve ever tasted.
“Our ethos is that we want to sell high-quality, New York-style pizzas to the people of Derby for a reasonable price. We have a simple pricing structure and our products are, as the name suggests, honest.”
The word ‘pizza’ first appeared in Latin text way back in 997 AD, although foods similar to pizza have been around since the Stone Age. Of Italian origin, pizza was brought to America by Italian immigrants in the late 19th century with Lombardi’s – America’s first pizzeria – opening in 1905.
There are, though, stark differences on the depth and style of pizza around the world.
An Italian pizza is, traditionally, cooked using a wood-fired oven and baked on a pizza stone. They take just a few minutes to cook and are thin and crispy.
A New York-style pizza also has a thin base. But it is cooked in a pizza pan, on a conveyor belt and has a larger crust.
“My wife and I visited New York and loved their pizzas,” added Easton, “they differ all over America. For example, Chicago pizzas will have a deeper crust and, quite often, this is filled with cheese.
“We wanted to bring a taste of New York to Derby and that’s what we are aiming to do with Honest Pizzas.
“Not many people would choose to set up a business in lockdown but we have – and it’s proved hugely successful so far.”
An 18-inch Marinara Pizza costs just £7.50 and you can add toppings from 50p. Honest Pizzas also sell beer, wine and Prosecco and have a good selection of desserts, including their best-seller – soft-baked cookies.