Papa John's pizza chain in Welwyn Garden City awarded delivery accolade

PUBLISHED: 16:14 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:47 26 October 2009

Adnan Uddin with Kieran and Lewis Wall who made their own pizza

Adnan Uddin with Kieran and Lewis Wall who made their own pizza

THIS week reporter Simon Wesson was invited behind the scenes at chain store Papa John's to see why it was awarded Pizza Delivery Chain of the Year … he was even given the chance to have a go at making a pizza himself.

Ross Peters spinning the dough

THIS week reporter Simon Wesson was invited behind the scenes at chain store Papa John's to see why it was awarded Pizza Delivery Chain of the Year ... he was even given the chance to have a go at making a pizza himself.

I THINK it is fair to say I discovered this week that one of my culinary talents - which are few enough anyway - is not making pizzas.

But I did have a whale of a time creating my very own thin base after I was invited down to Papa John's on the Woodhall Parade, in WGC to celebrate it being named Pizza Delivery Chain of the Year.

The store received the accolade from the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association, and to celebrate, the manager sent out delivery drivers to give away slices of pizza, so that people could taste the difference.

Both Welwyn Hatfield mayor Michael Long and I were lucky enough to go behind the scenes to see how staff produce the freshly prepared pizzas.

They are all made on the spot with newly prepared dough - using all the traditional methods, including flipping the dough.

After watching what I can only describe as a blur of hand movements to create this perfect looking pizza, it was my go.

To say I struggled would be an understatement, but with a rather large helping hand from the pizzaiolo - the expert - I somehow produced what I thought was a pretty decent barbecue sauce, chicken, bacon, sausage, green pepper, sweetcorn and extra cheese pizza.

After my handiwork, I was shown the highly impressive hi-tech system designed to make sure that every order is delivered within 30 minutes.

Manager Adnan Uddin told me that, along with the quality ingredients, getting every pizza made within three minutes of being ordered is vital.

He said: "To be named the top pizza chain in the UK is a real honour. We wanted to share the expertise that made us number one by showing people how to make fantastic pizzas.

"One of the reasons we won the award is for our product development, which saw us become the only major chain to use 100 per cent fresh dough.

"At our master class sessions our pizzaiolo taught people the importance of using fresh ingredients, how to slap the dough, apply the toppings of their choice and bake their own Papa John's pizza."

* For more information about the Cole Green Lane pizza delivery company, call 01707 333355.

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