A Valoriani commercial wood fired mobile oven will be breathing fire into an already hugely successful catering business, as it strives to become the first mobile pizza business in Wales to secure the accreditation that will allow it to shout about serving ‘real Neapolitan pizza’.
This comes after the mobile caterer has had to switch pizza ovens, having strayed away from the Valoriani stable of ovens for a while and suffered the consequences of buying an oven that was all style and no substance. Quickly realising their mistake, they are back in business with a new and bigger Valoriani oven, supplied by Orchard Ovens Professional.
South Wales-based Scorchini’s Pizzeria has offered the ‘taste of Naples in Wales’ for a year, delighting customers at Friday pop-up pizza nights in Creigiau and adding a much-talked-about dimension to events ranging from festivals to corporate and weddings to birthday celebrations.
For its first six months, it operated from a horsebox with a Valoriani ‘Fornino’ oven. This suited the horsebox environment, in terms of oven weight, and allowed the new start-up pizza business to test demand.
Problems after choosing a non-Valoriani mobile wood fired oven
As the business grew and more pizza capacity was required, the two ex-Forces business owners opted for a different brand of mobile catering oven, which looked the part but which simply could not deliver the quality of food required to maintain the brand’s reputation.
Owner Gareth George says, “The food quality was hard to manage, as the oven simply didn’t retain the heat, creating huge inconsistencies in cooking. It simply couldn’t produce the Neapolitan pizza on which we pride ourselves and it was a struggle to serve a queue. We knew we had to abandon it and see what Orchard Ovens could offer, in terms of a Valoriani oven larger than our previous Fornino.”
Having a good quality pizza product was essential, as food excellence is the cornerstone of a business that has acquired many fans, including some top Welsh professional rugby players.
The Valoriani mobile wood fired oven solution
Gareth, the pizzaiolo, was trained by the guardians of Neapolitan pizza tradition – the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), in Naples – and was not willing to compromise on food quality. This has led Scorchini’s Pizzeria to purchase a bespoke ‘Esordio’ Valoriani oven, the dome of which has been rendered by the Orchard Ovens Professional team. Painted white, this is the workhorse and centrepiece of a newly refurbished catering van.
With this fabulous artisan-built pizza oven in his armoury, from a Valoriani brand that the AVPN specifically recommends, Gareth will be striving to earn a hard-to-achieve accreditation from the Naples-based association. This requires pizzaioli to adhere to 10 strict rules regarding the preparation and cooking of Neapolitan pizza and the ingredients used for it.
These rules are fundamental to the protected UNESCO heritage status of Neapolitan pizza and, without formal AVPN accreditation, no eatery is allowed to say it serves Neapolitan pizza. Only a handful of UK restaurants have achieved the required standards, along with one mobile caterer in England. Gareth aims to be the first mobile caterer in Wales to earn the certification.
The wood fired oven for caterers at the top of their game
Gareth says, “We have realised that anyone at the top of their game in the catering world is using a Valoriani oven and we are delighted to be back in the fold. Orchard Ovens’s Andrew Manciocchi has been problem-solving for us in a really dedicated way and helping us to find the solution we needed for our van. I can only say that, for us, Valoriani ovens are the best of the best and everyone in the commercial catering sector knows it. If you want an oven that will do the job and keep your reputation high, you should look no further.”
Scorchini’s Pizzeria customers will be trying out some of the delights from the new pizza oven from the start of February 2023. These will include signature pizzas like the Sausage Cymreig, featuring local Welsh butcher’s sausage, and the Salami Napoli Diavola, which took the business to the finals of the 2022 PAPA Awards, organised by the Pizza and Pasta Association.