“When I go to a restaurant, I want to feel like I’m coming home…” — Flavio Briatore’s guide to pizza

As the serial entrepreneur opens a new Crazy Pizza joint down in Knightsbridge, we discuss the world's finest mozzarella — and why nothing is as much fun as hard work

Pizza is ageless, in every sense of the word. We don’t know how old it is, and it never seems to get any older. The Greeks probably invented it, though the Italians would dispute that — and both used it as a staple and a vessel; a way to beat hunger, and to extend the reach of more lavish ingredients. (Rosemary and sage; goat’s cheese and olives and good oil.) lt’s high and low at once: noble in its simplicity. It doesn’t need gimmicks, and it doesn’t particularly like them — when you see a hot dog in a crust, run the other way. 

Flavio Briatore, the founder, latterly, of Crazy Pizza, knows this to his bones. (‘Crazy’, here, refers more to the playful ambience of the place than the food itself.) He is a man who seems to understand the Good Life, and all its requirements. The blue half-tinted lenses seem primed, at all times, for some exotic jaunt, while the entrepreneur’s CV jumps around playfully: ski instructor, restaurant manager, insurance broker, Formula One honcho, football club owner, and creator of the Billionaire clubs and brand. And now, of course, a man of pizza — the food from his childhood in rural Italy. The concept in this latest venture is simple: good, honest, understated ingredients, served with the care and ceremony of a high end restaurant. It is street food to its core — only the streets in question are in Knightsbridge and Marylebone. And it is true to pizza’s past — luxurious but down to earth; lavish but homely.

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