Who was crowned the UK's Best Home Pizza Chef 2024?

It was 1pm, 23rd June 2024. The sun was shining, the dough was proved, the toppings were prepped and six pizza enthusiasts were getting ready to fight for the title of The UK's Best Home Pizza Chef 2024.

They'd arrived at Middle Stanley Farm the day before to make their dough, size up their fellow finalists and make their way through an incredible amount of beer and wine!

So whose Doughstopper was delicious, whose margherita was magnificent and who took home the title of UK's Best Home Pizza Chef and £1,000 worth of prizes?

The Competition

The UK's Best Home Pizza Chef is held annually by Love Logs to find the best home pizza chef in the UK.

This year, 2024, we had nearly 400 entries via social media and asked the public to help us whittle it down from 16 to 5 to give us our finalists.

We held the live final across the whole weekend 22nd - 23rd June at the incredible Middle Stanley Farm in the Cotswolds.

Day 1 is dough-making and getting to know each other over fire-cooked food and a few (possibly too many!) drinks, day 2 is the live final where the home pizzaiolos cook their pizzas for the panel of judges.

The contestants make two pizzas - one authentic Neapolitan margherita and one 'Doughstopper' where we also award marks for innovation and creativity - and boy did they earn those innovation and creativity points!

The Finalists

All passionate home pizza cooks, the finalists brought a real mix of tastes and experience to the table.

Dom's pizza making journey started as a covid hobby and has turned into an obsession over the last four years! A big fan of hot honey, his favourite pizza is a diavola but he loves the endless possibilities of pizza toppings and is happy to try almost anything...except anchovies!

Jackie, on the other and, describes anchovies and capers as his all time favourite pizza topping, although he knows it's controversial! He loves the dough making process and can't pass the fridge or proving box without 'checking on it like it's a new-born baby'

Unbelievably, Fabio also names his favourite pizza toppings as capers and anchovies! Fabio loves pizza as to him, it's synonymous with sociality, tradition, family and sharing; it is the first dish that comes to mind when you think of a dinner with friends or when you're celebrating.

Jim loves how pizza is such an accessible food - it's relatively inexpensive and there are infinite topping combinations. Nothing is off limits when Jim makes pizza but he always tries to include some sweetness, some saltiness and a bit of heat.

Grant prefers to keep it simple when it comes to pizza, with a few fresh, high quality ingredients. He loves being able to create a pizza from scratch and is obsessed with perfecting his sourdough technique!

Last year's winner, Scott describes his pizza making journey as a 'whirlwind' and loves how it brings together people from all walks of life. Scott has authored a book, Scott's Pizza Project, about his journey and travelled the world in search of amazing pizza - but still says that his all time favourite is a classic Margherita!

The Judges

Bake-Off champion and proud Britalian, Guiseppe needs no introduction. Since winning The Great British Bake Off in 2021, Giuseppe has released two baking books, opened his own bakery school, shared the 'This Morning' couch with Alison and Dermott and appeared at countless food festivals, showing us how it's done!

Giacomo Apicella, a.k.a Jack La Smorfia is a third generation pizza chef and owner of La Smorfia restaurant in Oxford. He's been making pizzas for nearly 20 years and is a wealth of technical knowledge on dough making!

Finally, we're Heather and Paul, Love Logs founders and mega pizza enthusiasts. Love Logs was born out of a need to source good quality, perfectly sized wood for our own pizza oven, and we're passionate about giving all of the amazing home pizza chefs the recognition and chance to shine that they deserve!

The Pizzas

The creativity on offer this year was like nothing we'd ever seen.

Special mention goes to Scott Deley and his 'honey caviar' created through a process of spherification - not a sentence I ever expected to write about a pizza!

From haggis to jerk chicken, from kimchi mayonnaise to sourdough crumbs, we were treated to some incredible creations that surpassed the judges wildest imagination and expectations.

The finalists had taken sustainability seriously when sourcing their ingredients and bought local wherever possible, with two contestants even bringing their own home-grown basil plants!

The Winner

We were delighted to name our winner The UK's Best Home Pizza Chef. Their crusts were incredible and their doughstopper was an amazing mix of tastes and textures which perfectly complimented each other.

Who was it...? You'll have to watch the video to find out!

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