I was recently invited to review “The Redneck Pizza” at the Col’Cacchio in Nicolway, which forms part of this year’s Celebrity Chef Series. Now, I have to admit that I am a huge Col’Cacchio fan, and have been since I was introduced to the brand back in 1999 / 2000, when I lived in Cape Town. The fact that they use fresh ingredients for their pizzas and not the “melted cheese” variety is what makes this brand stand out from the rest of the pizza crowd. Talking about standing out, the atmosphere at most, if not all Col’Cacchio branches that I’ve been to, is one of good service with a smile and that personal touch. This was the case when my husband and I were welcomed to the Nicolway branch of Col’Cacchio by Manager Victor Rottcher, whom we spoke to at length about the service industry in South Africa as well as restaurant and hotel experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Col’Cacchio pizzeria has been inviting South Africa’s top culinary talent to take part in the Celebrity Chef Series since the campaign kicked off in 2009. In 2014, they are turning back the clock and bringing back three of these all-star chefs, Mike Bassett, Jodi-Ann Pearton and Rudi Liebenberg, to reinvent their take on gourmet pizza for a good cause.
Their challenge this year is to tell their individual stories of a life in food by creating a signature pizza with ingredients and flavour combinations that reflect their own #FoodWithaStory.
But back to the Redneck Pizza. “What an interesting name” I thought, when I first heard it. The reason is that it was inspired by the culinary travels of its creator, Chef Mike Bassett, while he was in the deep south of the USA and South America. Mike is the award-winning owner and chef at Myoga at The Vineyard Hotel and Spa in Newlands, Cape Town.
The Redneck pizza has a seasoned tomato and cream cheese base, southern fried chicken, topped with homemade sweet chilli sauce, coriander, chimichurri and ruby slaw, but the tastes that were most prominent for me was the sweet chilli and the crunchiness of the slaw.
Since 2009, The Celebrity Chef Series has raised over R1 million for charitable causes through the R5 donation from the sale of each celebrity chef pizza. This year, funds raised will go to the Children’s Hospital Trust to benefit St Josephs for Chronically Ill Children, to fund an inpatient pediatric rehabilitation service, to which many patients are referred from the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
September’s featured pizza is Mike Bassett’s Redneck Pizza, followed by Jodi-Ann Pearton’s Basil McBeefy in October and finally, in November, the Mrs Periwinkle Pizza by Rudi Liebenberg will be featured.
All in all, the Redneck Pizza is well priced (R89.00) and the taste combinations were complementary, although some of the chicken pieces were a little tough. The vibe at Col’Cacchio, together with fact that this 3 month designer pizza promotion is also for a good cause, is worth a visit, if you ask me.
Follow Col’Cacchio on Facebook and Twitter (@ColCacchio) to learn more about the exciting signature pizzas as well as the chefs and stories behind them.
For more info on Mike and the wonderful Myoga restaurant, check out:
Facebook: Myoga Restaurant