Street food is a big deal in Leeds, and our city has been leading the way in casual, continental nosh for some time now. Every pedestrianised place in the city centre has found space for a fantastic range of foodsellers – but this has to be amongst our very favourites.
Pizza Fella serve a range of delicious pizza from the most unlikely of places. Not only do they manage to prep, bake and serve their pizza inside a cool vintage van, they somehow managed to store a real wood fire in there to give all of their pizzas their unmistakeable smoky taste.
The couple behind this perfectly formed pizzeria are Miles and Helen, who have been in full time business since last year. We talked to them about their favourite toppings, keeping it fresh for their customers and chasing their Italian dream.
Who are you and how did you get here?
We’re Miles and Helen and we own Pizza Fella. We make and serve proper woodfired pizza from Claude, our converted Citroen H van. On Thursday and Friday lunchtimes you can find us on the corner of Albion Place/Albion Street and the rest of the week we’re a pop up at markets, festivals and private events.
We bought Claude in Easter 2014 and our first event was a student festival at the Faversham at the end of May. We had a couple of smaller bookings and then dropped in at the deep end with our first big event which was the Tour De France in early July. We managed surprisingly well, although were a little tired after a full weekend of busy trading. We’ve since done all types of events from catering at weddings, private parties and corporate launches as well as festivals and markets over the Summer and took over the pitch in Leeds in February 2015.
What makes Pizza Fella unique?
Our chef is Miles, he trained in Naples and has brought back with him knowledge and skills that we now use in all of our pizzas. We’re also really into our food and so adapt and tailor the toppings to suit the audience for the event that we are at. One of our favourite toppings is the Bianca but it comes without tomato sauce which is a bit too leftfield for some.
As we have limited space in the van can only serve a small menu so need to make it work and what you see us serving on the pitch in town will be different from our menu at Brandon Street – a street food market at Canal Mills on the last Friday of the month.
What can customers expect from Pizza Fella?
We’ve got a mobile woodfired oven so can take proper pizza anywhere and our pitch in town gives the people of Leeds an amazing lunchtime treat without paying restaurant prices. And all served from Claude our vintage Citroen.
We make the dough from scratch using Italian Caputo flour and our sauce is made using San Marzano tomatoes. We make each pizza to order using fresh, locally sourced products so you can expect a proper pizza that tastes as good as the ones you’d eat in Italy.
What’s your favourite pizza?
We change our menu weekly and also have regular specials that make an appearance. Helen’s favourite is the Bianca which is tomatoless pizza (sounds strange but trust us it’s good.) It’s got mozzarella, Dolcelatte, Prosciuotto and caramalised onions on and is delicious.
Miles’s favourite is the one of the vegetarian specials – smoked mozzarella, wild broccoli and Portobello mushroom.
What’s your bestselling pizza?
The N’Duja is a popular choice – it’s a spicy Calabrian sausage and packs a real punch! All our pizzas range between £5 and £7.
What do you think makes Leeds so awesome?
Leeds has such a diverse culture and along with that a fantastic mix of places to eat. This has been going from strength to strength with a number of new restaurant openings and street food traders – it’s an exciting place to be if you’re a food lover (or restaurant owner/trader).
Where do you like to hang out in Leeds?
We live in Chapel Allerton so spend a lot of time in the Mustard Pot but if we do head in to town then Outlaws or Distrikt for a drink (or two) and we’re trying to work through our list of restaurants we want to try – so far we really love Tharavadu, Caravanserai, Reliance and Rare for a Sunday roast.
Finally, describe Pizza Fella in words?
Proper Woodfired Pizza.