Thelurch Attempts The Saltdean Sizzler Pizza Challenge

by Thelurch on May 12, 2012 · 6 comments

in General Information, Restaurant Reviews

A year ago I never thought I would be sat here typing out a review having completed an extreme food challenge but here I am…. and I survived victorious.

This particular Challenge is based in Saltdean, a suburb, just to the east of Brighton. In the past Saltdean has only really been famous for one thing, it’s outdoor Lido which has seen significant restoration in recent years.

It’s a place I have always driven past, and have never had cause to actually visit, I’m glad to say that this has now changed. There is now another reason for visiting Saltdean and placing it firmly on the map.

Thelurch Attempts The Saltdean Sizzler Pizza Challenge

Thelurch Attempts The Saltdean Sizzler Pizza Challenge

The place I am talking about is called Paul’s Pizza, which is the home of a wealth of great handmade pizzas including “The Saltdean Sizzler” pizza challenge.

Before I get on to that, I must just talk a little about Paul and his business.

Paul Brayshaw is the man behind the dough, the master of the ovens. Since opening the restaurant and takeaway in November 2011, it has gone from strength to strength producing some of the best pizzas I have ever tasted; forget the nationwide pizza delivery companies who mass produce their pizza’s. These pizzas are completely different and frankly like nothing else I have ever tried.

Paul trained as a baker and pastry chef in North Yorkshire for a number of years, learning the trade, which was to stand him in good stead for his new business. He has spent time researching the pizza business in New York, and has dealt with some internationally renowned pizza experts, to enable him to create 10 very different pizzas, based on the traditional but with special extras.

He and his wife are local people, he grew up in Saltdean, so who better to know whether this business would work, I am very impressed with anyone who pursues a dream and launches a business, especially as so many shops and restaurants are closing their doors each day for the last time due to the recession, but here is a success story, reversing the trend.

But what makes this venture any different to other restaurants that are failing? Pauls Pizza is fresh, inviting and serving a community. The pizzas are different too, mainly because Paul hand makes the dough himself, it comprises only 4 ingredients, so you can forget all the chemicals that usually go into dough, Paul just doesn’t need to use them. The dough is slow fermented over a few days, which gives it a wonderful light and bubbly texture.

Also handmade is the mozzarella, which Paul uses, so you can see that quality of ingredients are important here. The pepperoni is Sussex made, as is the bacon and the Cheddar. Food providence is important to Paul, knowing where your produce comes from and trying wherever possible to source them locally.

As I’ve said, he has a range of 10 pizzas to choose from which should cater for any taste. Pricing is very competitive, ranging from £9.50 – £13.99 for a large, and especially as you are getting quality ingredients.

So, on to my visit, I had heard about Pauls Pizza through Darth Naga and heard that he did an extremely hot pizza, as I only live 30 minutes’ drive away, I had to try it.

A couple of weeks ago armed with yoghurt and milk, I visited Paul to try out the challenge. Paul is a very welcoming host, it was made very clear to me early on that he is clearly part of the community as everyone who passed seem to wave, and people would pop in for their usual takeaway.

I was first offered some taster slices of other pizzas from the menus, which were excellent, and then it was on to the Sizzler!

I took my place, set up my camera and waited nervously, although not a long wait as pizzas cook very quickly in a 1000 degree oven! I peered over my shoulder at the “Wall of Flame” with 4 photos on it. Nearly 700 people have attempted it and failed, I suddenly didn’t fancy my chances! The Challenge is simple, no time limit, and no restrictions, just finish it.

And there it was in front of me, looking so innocent, the smell was amazing. The pizza has Paul’s fresh tomato sauce, homemade mozzarella cheese, grand padano cheese, Sussex made pepperoni and a unique blend of chilli sauce!  Oh and a chopped up ChilliPepperPete Naga on top for good measure!

Paul sets his camera up and we are off, needless to say the heat is instant, I would imagine like licking the surface of the sun!

As you will see from the video, I did have milk on hand and only had some from slice two onwards, no one has ever completed it without milk, although that nearly became my downfall as I drank too much, about ½ a gallon during the challenge!

Being this was my first extreme food challenge, I had nothing to compare it to, but it hurt, oh boy did it hurt, you have to sign the usual “I am an idiot” disclaimer to declare you are fit enough to take part.

So I did it, my picture now is number 5 on the wall, and I take pride in the fastest time of 25 minutes.

So if you find yourself in Brighton or passing along the coast road and need a chilli fix or a very tasty lunch/dinner then pay Paul a visit. Opening hours are on the website, and they are closed on Mondays.

Thanks must go to Paul for his hospitality.

You can contact him via his website www.paulspizza.co.uk or email info@paulspizza.co.uk  Twitter : @PaulsPizzaUK or Facebook :PaulsPizza

Thanks must also go to Darth Naga for his video editing skills

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Paul Brayshaw May 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Brilliant Chris! well done! Thanks Tony for editing the video too!
Makes me laugh how much more milk you drink as the video goes on…
Fair play to you though Chris I could NEVER do it!

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avatar Ted Barrus May 12, 2012 at 10:47 am

Great review and AWESOME VIDEO. Congrats buddy I know that was tough.

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avatar MartyG May 12, 2012 at 9:48 am

Good job Chris – that pizza looked so innocent too.

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