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the winner of the Sourdough September

Sourdough September winner Riyana shares her inspiration

You entered in your hundreds. After weeks of discussion, we managed to narrow down our shortlist to just 6 entrants, whose pizzas showed incredible creative potential.

An innovative Middle Eastern inspired pizza

You entered in your hundreds. After weeks of discussion, we managed to narrow down our shortlist to just 6 entrants, whose pizzas showed incredible creative potential. On Tuesday 4th October 2022 we held the grand finale of the Sourdough September competition at our Baker Street restaurant. Our finalists battled it out for the top prize, but there could only be 1 winner… congratulations Riyana!

Her innovative shawarma-inspired pizza wowed the judges, and it launches on our specials board today, with chicken shawarma, organic tomato, mozzarella, goat’s cheese, pomegranate, walnuts and a mint, parsley & lemon dressing (light tomato base). It’s every bit as delicious as it sounds.

We caught up with her to discover the story behind her creation.

What was the inspiration for your winning pizza?

My inspiration was a typical summer BBQ with friends & family. Whether in SE or NW London, it’s always a mezze style affair with lots of fresh ingredients like pomegranate and mint on the table. Also there’s a restaurant just off Rye Lane in Peckham called ‘Hanar’ which is one of my favourite delicious, reasonably-priced eats in town, and the pizza was partially inspired by the chicken shawarma mezze from there. I highly recommend going if you live south of the river.

Did you try lots of pizza toppings options or were you set on a middle eastern theme?

I didn’t try any other pizza toppings as I just felt that it’d work. I remember watching ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ by Samin Nosrat a few years ago and have used it as my mantra whilst coming up with new recipes or adapting existing ones. All four components were in my pizza.

Your mum said you and your sister are die hard Franco Manca fans – which is your favourite restaurant? And what is it you love about Franco Manca? Have you got a favourite Franco Manca pizza? Which one?

Haha yes we are all big fans in my family but particularly my sister and I! I think we’ve both been for every birthday we’ve had since our local one in Kilburn opened in 2016 – it’s also the best one 😉 Shoutout to the Kilburn Franco Manca team! We ALWAYS eat the same thing… it’s a number 2 pizza with mushrooms, a butternut and goat’s cheese salad, a tiramisu and a glass of Montepulciano red wine each. I think part of the charm of Franco Manca is its consistency. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad pizza at any branch nationally, the garlic oil, base and tomato sauce is always 👌 but the variety of mushroom is a lucky dip. As a student in London it was always my go-to reasonably-priced eat.

Riyana’s pizza is available from Tuesday 14th March until Monday 27th March 2023.

Still hungry? Go for seconds.

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