Mel grew up in Byron Bay, and met Sandro when he was visiting his extended family in Mullumbimby. Sandro’s uncle Zio Luciano came to the northern rivers in the 1950s to cut cane and settled in Mullumbimby, even owning the Empire Cafe where he made pizzas. Sandro and Mel have recently moved back to Byron Bay from Brisbane where, although they enjoyed building up their business, they missed a sense of community for themselves and their children, so they have moved back to be close to their families.
Sandro was born in Fermo on the east coast of Italy. Learning the art of pizza-making from the top pizza chefs in the business is a serious undertaking in Italy, and Sandro spent most of his 20s working in and running small pizzerias in his region of Le Marche. After a trip home he was missing Italy and true pizza so he built a wood-fired pizza oven in the yard of his Brisbane home.
How did the business get started?
Mel – ‘We had lots of backyard parties; friends would invite friends. Our invitations of 30 guests always ended up being up to 100. We realised that if we could cater for such fun parties in our yards so could everyone. Sandro spent three years designing and constructing our amazing pizza trailer. He imported a commercial Di Fiore pizza oven from his region in Italy; we have the largest traditional mobile pizza oven in Australia. We cater to functions from 40 to 250+ pizzas and at festivals we make and cook 1,000s.’
Mel – ‘Sandro is passionate about traditional Italian cuisine. He follows the true Italian way of fresh tasty ingredients on his thin crispy sourdough bases using real mozzarella and proper tomato sugo. There’s not a piece of pineapple to be seen anywhere near his pizza!
‘We describe ourselves as boutique because of the time and attention to detail that we dedicate to our ingredients and the handmade sourdough bases.’
What areas do you cover?
‘We are mobile for the northern rivers of NSW, Gold Coast to Brisbane for weddings, birthdays, and corporate events, and we also do “pop-up pizzeria” nights at Federal Hall, Jasper Corner, Federal, every second Thursday of the month. Our next one is on Thursday May 8. We will announce pop-up details including the special of the day on our Facebook page (look for the flying pizza logo).’
Our signature pizza is the funghi: porcini trifolati with creamy gorgonzola. Porcini trifolati is specific to Sandro’s region: slow-cooked porcini and field mushrooms create an intense flavour, complemented perfectly by Gorgonzola Dolce.
What’s your favourite pizza?
Sandro – ‘The Pancetta: shaved pancetta and fresh rosemary crowned with crispy potato lace.’
What is the most rewarding thing you do?
‘Seeing guests excited by their bespoke pizzas! Seriously, we love seeing people devour our pizzas; hearing the conversations as they anticipate what flavour will be served next; party hosts enjoying time with their guests while we do everything.
‘But the most rewarding is producing 1000s of pizzas at a festival and finding that patrons made the effort to come back and thank us for their amazing pizza.
‘We personally serve the pizzas to your guests rather than putting them on a table for only the enthusiastic eaters. We also care for those with special dietary requirements (we use separate pizza cutters for meat, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free etc to avoid cross contamination).
‘We bring Italy to you!’
0438 118 992
Recent stories tagged Food & Wine:
Photos and story: Caz Parker On the Italian island of Sardinia villagers are ten times more likely to reach the age of 100 than are people born elsewhere in the world. Longevity experts believe Sardinians’ longer lives are owed to...
After six-and-a-half years of fabulous menus and a steady and generous culinary contribution to our region, La Table Cafe and Restaurant is coming to the end in its present form – the Mullumbimby premises.
Eating a nicely prepared, cooked and served meal out, these days, is as easy as filling your car with petrol.
What’s in a name? In some cases people sit for hours stabbing in the dark, grabbing at suggestions and generally trying to inject some meaning into a business name. Other times, you just hear the name, you see the product and you say to yourself Yes!
I can attest to the almost inhuman hours bakers keep while toiling for this very basic human dietary need – bread.
You’d need a couple of lifetimes to get to the end of the good things happening on the north coast.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote up the Aquarius cafe, bar and restaurant in Lawson Street in Byron Bay.
We humans are sentient beings and when it comes to sitting in someone else’s space, I know I get the jitters if the overall atmosphere is unfriendly, stiff or uncomfortable.
Santé is now open at 10am, seven days per week, for a brunch with a twist. Here, they have a rep’ for a delicate pizza crust (among other culinary choices), and using that reputation, they’ve created a brekkie hybrid that’s being introduced on the brunch menu.
Vietnamese people move in very small circles. It’s a cliquey community where ex-pats are concerned no matter where they’ve settled.