According to Nat Alexander, Founder at Homeslice Pizza.
The most important part of the pizza is…
'The crust. Bad pizza for me is pizza with a bad crust; obviously there are some "unusual" toppings that don't appeal to me personally, but at the end of the day melted cheese and tomato is not often terrible, so it's the crust that makes the difference. In the beginning, I did all my experimentation at the old Madison Kitchen so it was always like a four-day lag between me learning something and then being able to test it again. Now, we ferment our pizza dough for 48 hours with a sourdough starter, which develops flavour and makes it dense.'
If you want to perfect your pie, you’ll need the right resources
'I started with a book called The Pizza Bible
from an award-winning writer out of San Francisco. It’s a great book that teaches you the basics. And then there is also a website called pizzamaking.com, basically a forum for pizza nerds mostly in the US, but also across the world. Some guys have like 60 pages worth of experiments. There's one guy on there called the Dough Doctor. He is an authority on pizza making – you can ask him questions and he’ll give you responses and advice.'
There’s a scientific reason it’s so good
'Parmesan’s one of the biggest natural sources of glutamate (the "G" in MSG), so that makes it delicious. Cheeses naturally have glutamate – especially Parmesan. Tomatoes have it, cured meats have it. And there’s an awful lot of those on pizza.'
The basics are always going to be top-sellers
'Some of the ones we do are quite niche and don't sell a lot for that reason. But we know that when we come up with them and they are often my personal favourites. An example would be our Pissaladière we did a while back – anchovy, Niçoise olive and caramelised onion on white. Those who loved it really did, but most people wouldn't go near it. When we come up with a new flavour, we've usually thought it through before making it for the first time. It usually takes max two to three tweaks.'
You'll attract some hardcore fans
'There is this one guy who apparently orders several times a week. On his birthday, his friends made him a birthday cake showing him holding a Homeslice box. This other guy who works at Nike had pizza Nikes custom made. Homeslice lovers come up and thank me, which is always a surprise – but lovely! It's very rewarding to have a restaurant that makes people happy.'