New Gelati Cart & New year

Well we can't believe it but another year has passed, and what a year it has been! We have loved catering your weddings, engagements & birthdays. We feel proud to be part of great markets like Hank Marvin & Emu Plains and are feel lucky and excited to be a big part of the Welcome to Thornbury food truck family. 2016 is booking up fast and we feel so thankful for all your support.

Our biggest news is that Gelati Cart is up and running and available for bookings! She has come together even better than we could have imagined and so far at weddings and other events it has proved to be the perfect match to Pizza Wagon. You can book them as a pair or separately. You can check out more about booking it on the Gelati Cart section of the website...

Speaking of the website after a big day of staring at a screen and trying to get to grips with font coding (yikes!) we finally have our new & refreshed website for 2016! It was a pleasure putting it together and looking through photos from the last couple of years, i even got a little teary eyed so i hope you all like our new look.

By the end of January we plan to add antipasto platters and salad options to the menu to make your lives even easier for your private events. We also have another big plan up our sleeves and we will keep you posted as that develops but it's top secret for now!

We are actually getting married in 2016 so are particularly excited but we want to wish you all a very happy new year. We can't wait to see where Pizza Wagon & Gelati Cart take us this year!

Weddings

One of the best parts of our job is getting to go to lots of lovely weddings. We've catered festival style weddings, barn weddings, heritage building wedding, yacht club weddings and more. Each has been unique but what all have shared is a relaxed, fun & happy vibe. 

We thought we would run through the set up for a wedding so any of you future mr & mrs's can get a good idea about whether Pizza Wagon might be right for your wedding....

From the day you first inquire you can expect us to be open and receptive to all your ideas, we love chatting about your plans and offering advice if you'd like it. For weddings we normally offer packages by the pizza but on special occasions can arrange 'all you can eat'. You can pick any 5 pizzas from our seasonal menu for us to cook on your special day. We can do gluten free pizzas and cater for lactose & fructose intolerant guests. We can also offer professional and friendly wait staff to help your day run as smoothly as possible.

On the day we would normally arrive 1hr30 minutes (earlier upon arrangement) before you would like us to serve. We'll get the fire roaring, write the personalised blackboards, hang up the flower basket & fairy lights, pop tea lights in jars and get ready for service. We will cook non stop, rotating through the pizzas. We believe the best way is for guests to grab slices from a waitress or from the van counter. Sharing is the quickest way to make sure everyone is fed, plus all the pizzas are so yummy it's great to be able to try everything!

If you would like us to pause for a little while for speeches, cake cutting, etc you can tell us on the day.

We can provide plates and napkins but if you would like us to use something special do let us know. We present our pizzas on our lovely wooden pizza peels.

If you are thinking of having more than one food truck we can advise you on some of the best food trucks in Melbourne to have along side us.

To lock in a booking we require a 20% deposit. You can estimate the amount of pizzas you would like at this stage and always change the amount down the line, as we know guests lists can go up and down.

If you are planning a wedding from September 2015 onwards then we will soon have something very special that you can add to your wedding. We are currently working on a gorgeous gelato cart to go with our van.  So watch this space for updates, yay gelato!

Bookings are coming in fast for weddings next spring, summer & even autumn so get in quick!

If you are planning your wedding and have any questions please get in touch at info@pizzawagon.com.au.



New Year 2015

Well haven't we been rubbish at keeping this up to date. Our only excuse and one we don't really mind having is that we have been BUSY! Each month for us has just got better and better and we topped the year off with our biggest event to date.

2014 lead us to many wonderful places, weddings, engagements, birthdays from 1 to 60, car shows, music festivals, old peoples homes, nightclubs, markets, cinemas, breweries and more. We have met the such a diverse mix of people and it just proves everyone loves pizza!

We spent our new year working at Beyond the Valley music festival. A first time festival run by a friendly team. We had no idea what to expect and kept panicking that we had too much stock and then 5 minutes later thinking we had too little! We had trained up 6 staff to help us at the festival to maximize our output.

Beyond the Valley exceeded all expectations. We sold out! We didn't have a queue of less than 10 minutes the whole time we were open. We were pumping out 50 pizzas an hour which from 30 with just the two of us was a big leap. It was a lot of hard work but amazing and we hope we get the opportunity to work there next year.

For 2015 we are looking at how we can up our output even more. We are looking at oven number 2 and whether that means van number 2 or perhaps a marquee for now. 2014 was incredible, we can't quite believe how far we have come. We are so excited for what 2015 has in store.

We want to say a huge thank you to any one that has bought a pizza, booked us for a job, followed us on social media or just smiled at us! We wish you all the happiest of new years!


Winter 2014

The days are getting longer and ever so slightly warmer and the food trucks are kissing winter goodbye and gearing up for the silly season. Winter is the hardest time for food trucks. Less events, some markets shut down and street trading can be massively hindered by the cold and rain. Customers aren't as keen to come perch on a kerb and try the latest food truck delight and to be honest we don't blame them.

I'd say for our first winter we had a good one (mind you we did escape to the UK for a bit of sunshine for most of July!), highlights would be a regular spot at Moon Dog Brewery, getting fully involved at Yarraville Gardens and getting to know our food truck comrades, Emma and Boris's gorgeously relaxed wedding, Greazefest and more recently a wonderful private gig at Artedomus as part of the Melbourne Indesign event where we met some really great, creative people.

Low light would be the van breaking down. A couple of weeks ago we were heading to our second day at Trailer Park at Village Melbourne when we heard a big clunk clunk. Some screws had come loose around the drive shaft and pinged up and hit the gear stick bending it and make it unusable. We called Paris motors (our go to french vehicle experts!) but frustratingly they had road works out the front of their shop so we had to wait a week before we could get her in the shop. Which meant having to pull out of two private jobs and also a food truck festival with Village cinemas. Zak and i pride ourselves on being reliable and easy people to work with so it was just heartbreaking having to let these people down. Happily they were all very understanding and lovely and we managed to find a replacement for them (Thank you Paul at Soul Truck and Sonia and Remi at Happy Camper!). The van is due to be fixed by the end of this week so we can leave our breakdown stress with winter behind us!

One thing we will be sad to be leaving this winter are our yummy winter specials. We had:

N'duja - Soft, spicy Calabrian salami, cavolo nero, San Marazno tomato, fior di latte, parmesan, basil, olive oil

Zucca - Pumpkin, goats cheese, fior di latte, parmesan, basil, olive oil

Finocchio Salsicca - Pork and fennel sausage, wild broccoli, fior di latte, parmesan, basil, olive oil.

The were all delicious but my favorite was the N'duja, when the chilli oil oozed out of the salami and over the pizza it was pretty hard to resist. We've now got our thinking caps on for the spring specials, we're thinking asparagus, artichoke and spring greens so check out the menu soon to see our new additions!

Our calendar for the rest of the year and in to 2015 is filling up with weddings, birthday parties, markets, festivals, etc so if you think you might like Pizza Wagon at an event of yours we advise you to get in touch as early as you can to avoid disappointment.

Yarraville Gardens

Around a month ago we got our first street trading permit. Maribyrnong is one of the only councils in the city that don't make food trucks jump through hoops to get a permit to trade with in their council. They ask that you abide by a set of fair rules that involve parking restrictions, rubbish disposal and not parking too near a similar business. These rules work. The food trucks in Maribyrnong are respectful of the rules, other businesses and of each other.

Moreland council is another council that has embraced food truck culture and the trend is spreading as Melbourne City Council is currently running a 3 month trial with 10 food trucks with in the CBD.

How ever many of the other councils in and around the city ask food trucks to meet endless requirements and to provide pages of proof that you will meet those requirements. We would love to be able to trade in our local council of Mornington but they don't have a policy for food trucks, hopefully slowly but surely i'll ware them down and they'll be able to see the benefits of having food trucks on the peninsula. Who wouldn't love a food truck next to Portsea back beach on a summers day?

So with our permit for Maribyrnong we are able to trade at food truck hot spot Yarraville Gardens. On any given night you will find food trucks and keen as bean customers lining up along Somerville road. Some nights you'll find a complete truck jam of 14 trucks lining the street. One would wonder how well the trucks do with that many of them but the truth is the more the merrier! Fans of all the food trucks will come down and bring their families who might end up trying something from a different food truck, so everybody benefits. People bring a couple of beers, their dog, a picnic blanket and slowly make their way from truck to truck sharing and trying. Having a group of food trucks creates a great atmosphere and the more food trucks there are the more willing people are to come down.

We love going to Yarraville Gardens and have really enjoyed meeting and getting to know all the other food trucks owners. One of our favorite parts is that we all feed each other! We've had pork belly, corn and coleslaw from Gorilla Truck, pho from Nem N'Nem, salted caramel creme brulee from The Brulee Cart, burgers from Mr Burger, churros from Senor Churro, oregano and feta chips from Greek Street Food and the list goes on...

Yarraville Gardens even in winter has exceeded our expectations. We're really looking forward to seeing how it develops as the days get longer and nights get warmer. For any of you that haven't been before come along and say hello, grab a pizza and what ever else you may fancy from any of the great food trucks.




3 months in...

... our lives have been completely taken over and we absolutely love it!

The last 3 months has seen Pizza Wagon grow at a rate that we could only have dreamed of. Everybody we've met has been so positive about the pizza and the wagon and we've had so many wonderful opportunities to get Pizza Wagon out in to the public domain.

We are in 'Yes' mode, we say yes to everything that comes our way. If we breakeven we're happy as long as more people have seen us and tried our pizza. It's been quiet an adventure!

We've had the van nearly break down on us on the way to a running event with the lovely folks at Start to Finish. Zak's wonderful father drove hours out of his way on a Saturday to come rescue us and help us get the job done, which we did and we're looking forward to more running events next summer, especially one at Melbourne zoo!

We're now regulars at the wonderful Moon Dog Brewery and Kooinda Boutique Brewery both run by awesome people full of passion. 

We attended the fantastic 'Suus' business launch at Kustom Kommune and hope very much to work with Kustom Kommune at an event there holding later this year.

In a couple of weeks we'll be attending our first 3 day event at Rod Stock and Custom in Bendigo. So there's lots of dough to be rolled, Parmesan to be grated and basil to be picked!

The best news of all is that last week we obtained our first official street permit so we can now work when ever we want. It's for Maribyrnong council who seem to be the only council who make it easy for food trucks. We had our first day at food truck hot spot Yarraville Gardens last Sunday and we sold out! It was so great to meet some of the other food trucks and talk about food truck highs and lows. We had a delicious Mexican Mushroom Burger from 'The Little Mushroom co' - highly recommmended! We'll be back there serving pizza this weekend.

Our pizzas are looking and tasting better than ever. I've really got the knack of hand stretching the dough which makes for an awesome crust.

So basically we're happy and pushing forward, all the drama and waiting of the last couple of years was utterly worth it. Next for us is applying for all the big summer festivals which as festival lovers ourselves we can't wait for. We have bookings up until April next year so it looks like we'll be busy for a long time to come.

One weekend two quirkily wonderful markets

A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of attending two more alternative markets. The first was the Nanna Cool Falling For You market and the second was Belgrave Big Dreams Market.

Nanna Cool has a market every two months and this months market had a lovely autumn theme. They celebrate the handmade and the homemade with gusto. At this stage it's only a small market but with great themes i can see them growing with every market.  

Belgrave Big Dreams is a bigger, monthly market up in the hills with gorgeous stalls and interesting punters.  You can tell they really care about the finer details and creating a special atmosphere. They set up a wonderful table and chairs arrangement in front of our van, they even decorated it with flowers in a pot, we loved it.

The weather was great all weekend and we had a lovely time. We met lots of new people including Emma and Boris who saw us at Nanna Cool and then came to Belgrave Big Dreams to see us again, we're now booked in to cater their wedding in July!

We had our first run with our Breakfast pizza too - Panchetta rashers, cherry tomatoes, swiss brown mushrooms, san marzano tomato, fior di latte, parmesan, basil, olive oil. It went down a treat :-).

Hopefully we'll be back at both markets soon.

table set up at belgrave big dreams

table set up at belgrave big dreams


Joining the world of Markets

Last Sunday we had our first market at the Yarra Glen Racecourse. After what started as a very misty day it turned in to glorious sunshine. I imagine a markets busyness is very weather dependent so we we're lucky the sun was out.

We arrived and we're soon helped in to our spot. We definitely felt like the new kids on the block, it seemed like all the other caterers had been doing this for years, they all knew each other well and were chatting away. Other than a great little coffee place in a camper van trailer (with a 6ft owner) we were the only food truck at the market, the others all had stalls they had to set up. Lots of them came up for a friendly peak and a chat so it was nice to start meeting people.

The morning for us was a little slow, we've decided next time to give a breakfast pizza a go to see if that helps. Around lunch orders came in at a lovely steady pace. We did have Sam helping us out in the van again but we think next time it could be managed by just the two of us.

We all had lots of fun and we're very much enjoying our new life style. Fingers crossed for sunshine at all our future markets!

Baany to Warrna Ngargee - Water to Water Festival

Last Saturday we were lucky enough to work at the brilliant Water to Water Festival. The festival was the first Indigenous music and culture festival to be held on the Mornington Peninsula. 

Easily for us the festival was being held 5 minutes from our house at the Briars Historic Park in Mount Martha so at 8am we drove the Wagon up and started setting up. The day started off spookily foggy (which made for some great shots of the wagon!) but gradually turned in to a beautifully sunny day.

There were great singers, dancers, fellow food stalls, didgeridoo lessons, face painting (in a tee-pee!), traditional art lessons, massages, the local radio station and the list goes on.

Pizza Wagon was very busy and sold 180 pizzas that day, happily we had a helping hand from our friends Sam and Nina who were very good at taking orders from a covered in flour Hannah and a covered in soot Zak. 

Thank you to Baany to Warrna Ngargee for having us and to our contact person Annie-Rose for being so lovely to work with, hopefully we'll see you next year! 


Sarah's 30th in St Kilda

On March 15th we headed in St Kilda to cater for the lovely Sarah's 30th birthday. We parked up out the front of her and her husband's charming home and set up for the evening. The main party was going on inside and in the garden so we were provided with two servers to take our pizza to the party masses. For her party Sarah picked the Margherita, Funghi (which seemed to be the favourite), Capricciosa, Melanzana and Piccante. 

We had guests from the party pop out and have a chat, It was great to hear feedback (especially as it was all good - hurrah!). We cooked 45 pizzas including a Margherita for two young boys in pyjamas who lived next door and had been sat outside checking out the van - very cute.

All in all the evening could not have gone better. The hosts were lovely and even came out with a beer for us each at the end of the evening, so Zak and i shared a beer and a pizza whilst toasting the nights success.

mobile pizza melbourne - setting up

mobile pizza melbourne - setting up

funghi, portobello mushrooms with truffle oil - a hit on the night!

funghi, portobello mushrooms with truffle oil - a hit on the night!

Thank you friends and family

On March 14th we hosted an evening for our friends and family (Australian) to say thank you for all their love and support over the last couple of years. To get Pizza Wagon on the road and selling pizza has taken a lot of patience and we don't know if we could have done it with out you (including the many UK friends and family) so really, truly, thank you.

It was a perfect Melbourne evening, friends and family sharing a beer, dogs playing, all whilst watching the sun set over the football oval. The orders came thick and fast and we were really put under pressure,  just what we wanted. We cooked nearly 50 pizzas that night and were overwhelmed by the response, i even had a little sob at the end.

We went to say a special thank you to Sam Price for helping take orders and also Kate Milburn and Alicia Christie for snapping some photos.

Pizza Wagon is now ready to serve Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula and greater Victoria. We're available for wedding catering, birthday catering, corporate catering, any type of catering! Hire us for big music festivals, sports events, family fun days, local markets, cultural festivals, any type of event - we'd love to be there. 

Night time at the Pizza Wagon

Night time at the Pizza Wagon

Job numero uno

On Friday Illoura early learning centre hosted us for our very first job. We parked outside and the lovely ladies who work there came and got their lunch from us. Everything went really well and great fun was had by all. Favourite pizzas were the Melanzana and the Piccante.

Zak and i are so happy that Pizza Wagon has finally come together and seems to be starting off at a sprinting pace with 4 or 5 jobs already lined up. Keep an eye on our upcoming events page and follow us on facebook and twitter to see where we're going to be next. 

photo 5.JPG
photo 4.JPG

The Roadyworthy Certificate

Our last blog was 10 months ago, frustratingly it has taken us that long to get the van it’s road worthy certificate and the registration papers needed to legally drive it on Aussie roads. Last week we achieved both of these so our Pizza Wagon dream can finally continue! It’s been a long 10 months of being very patient but hopefully 2014 is going to be kinder to us. Here’s to a year full of pizza making and we can’t wait to share it with all of you. 

Zak - A very happy chappy!

Zak - A very happy chappy!

Dough

The ratio behind the all important pizza dough we used in Italy was 80% 00 flour and 20% 0 flour. The 00 flour we used was either ‘Farina’ (which literally means meal or flour in Latin) or ‘Barilla’. 00 is highly refined and talcum powder soft, it is often used for pastries and cakes and rises more than other flours. For the 0 flour we used ‘Manitoba’ which is named after it’s place of origin in Canada. 0 flour is elastic and glutinous, it’s considered a strong flour and is great for bread making. The cooked pizza dough was delicious so hopefully we can find ourselves a good supplier in Melbourne to deliver our Farina and Manitoba flour!

Shipping

With the van finished she was ready to be packed up and shipped off to Australia! We had her towed down from towability to the dock in Southampton to be packed in to a shipping container. Simple, or so we thought. Turns out with the new vent on, the van was too tall to fit in the container. So Zak and I had to make an impromptu trip down to Southampton where Zak spent about 2 hours in strong coastal winds prising the vent off the top of the van. Eventually he got it off, he had bloodied hands and there was a hole in the roof of our van, but she now fit in the container so all was well and we said Bon Voyage!

Fior Di Latte

Fior Di Latte - is made the same way as buffalo mozzarella but unlike buffalo, fior di latte is made from cows milk. It tastes smooth and milky but is firmer and not as wet as buffalo mozzarella, which makes it great for putting on pizzas. Especially if you want to avoid using processed mozzarella, which we do! For this reason fior di latte was a much used and loved ingredient whilst on our pizza course in Italy. The cooked result is a beautifully stringy, temptingly oozy, deliciously tasting melted cheese - that can be both a mess and and joy to indulge in! It often goes under the alias of mozzarella as generally i suppose it’s easier than explaining what fior di latte is to most customers.

Woodfire Oven Workshop

Just before we left for Melbourne we went back up to visit our super duper, oven making, South African friend Jay for an afternoons oven workshop. First off we lit the fire in the middle of the oven for around 40 minutes to get the floor really piping hot. Jay makes his pizzas super thin and crispy so he runs a floor temperature of around 350 Celsius and an air temperature of between 450 and 500. At this temperature he can make a 10” pizza in around 50-90 seconds. When the oven got to scorching we pushed the fire to the back and swept the oven floor before we started cooking. 

Zak started off making the pizzas whilst i worked the oven and then we switched. Jay taught us how to work the peel - sliding the pizza in the oven, rotating it half way through and shimmying it out at the end. He tried his best to distract and pressure us to give an idea of what it would really be like doing all this with waiting, hungry customers. The pizzas cooked so quickly that as rookies we couldn’t really keep up the pace of getting another one in before we took one out, but gradually we both got better. Jay sent us home with lots of tips and tricks, now we’re just itching to give it a go in our own oven.

San Marzano Tomatoes

During our pizza course we cooked with (and ate) the famous San Marzano tomatoes. They are a variety of plum tomato, compared to the Roma tomato Marzano tomatoes are thinner and more pointed. The flesh is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is stronger, sweeter and less acidic. Technically a San Marzano tomato can not be a San Marzano tomato unless it is grown in the San Marzano valley, so the real deal could be a little tricky to get hold of in Melbourne! They were a joy to work with and on our first day we chopped them up, added some basil and used these deliciously sweet tomatoes on our pizzas instead of a tomato sauce. What a treat!