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Derby Chef wins Coveted Pizza Industry Award

Derby Chef wins Coveted Pizza Industry Award

Competition winners announced just in time for the first National Pizza Week which takes place from 22nd – 28th November. 

A chef from Derby has scooped a top prize at the annual Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Association Awards (PAPA) for his innovative Roman style pizza creation. 

Stefano Di Vita, who has been working in the pizza industry internationally for the best part of 15 years, founded The Pizza Pony with his friend Paolo Cacace, after a food intolerance set him on a search for a healthier alternative to standard pizza dough.  

He wowed the panel of judges, which included celebrity chef Theo Randall, with his entry, the Multu Be, combining smoked Provola, red pepper, mushroom and smoked bacon on a flat focaccia-like Roman style thin crust. It scooped him the winning prize for the American Pan Flat Bread Roman Style Tray Category in this year’s PAPA Awards Pizza Chef of the Year competition.  

Each year, the country’s top chefs and food product designers go head-to-head, showcasing their innovation and technical skills as they create their idea of the perfect pizza in the annual PAPA awards.  

Announced just in time for the first ever National Pizza Week which begins on 22nd November until 28th November, this year’s entries have been kneaded, baked and taste tested judged by a panel of industry experts including celebrity chef Theo Randall, Chef & Restaurateur (Head Judge), Enzo Oliveri – Chef & Restaurateur, Marco Fuso – Pizza Chef and Founder of Marco Fuso Pizza Consultancy and Michael Eyre – Culinary Director, Jestic,  

The event is widely regarded as the ‘setting the industry standards’ in the pizza world. Jim Winship, director at PAPA said: 

“Winners are judged on innovation, technical ability and of course, taste, across four categories with one overall winner taking ‘best in show’. This year, the standards were extremely high, but we were delighted to award Stefano the winner in this category. 

“The PAPA Awards is a calendar moment we all look forward to each year. A time when we’re always surprised and delighted by the creativity of the entrants. This year it is even more special, marking the start of our first ever National Pizza Week celebrating pizza in all its glory and giving the industry a much-needed boost.”   

Talking of the award Stefano said:

“Pizza is my passion. I have built a life and a business around the humble slice of pizza and since developing food intolerances many years ago have made it my mission to create healthy alternatives to pizza that everyone can enjoy. I’m absolutely thrilled to have been given this award.” 

A full list of this year’s winners can be found at For interviews or the chance for any of the chefs to cook along live please contact  


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