Pizza in Portugal

It’s our first entry of 2018 and in our second special guest edition of our Chef’s Blog, we’re joined by our Marketing Designer, Scott Northway, who explains how Blue Apple helped him on his journey from fussy-eating child to (slightly) less fussy-eating adult!

Do you remember the first time you ever ate pizza? It’s likely not something you’ve given much thought to, but I was seven when I had my first slice and it’s a memory that’s never left me. It was a late Portuguese evening as my mum and stepdad became increasingly tired of their hungry children as we traipsed around the small Algarve fishing town we were visiting as a family. Their challenge was to find an eatery that would cater for a fussy 6 year girl and me, her even fussier older stepbrother and it was proving a difficult task. Amongst many other establishments, we stopped in a seafood restaurant in the hope of battered fish and chips (one of the few dishes I ate) but were greeted by a tank of lobsters and an otherwise incomprehensible Portuguese menu. We left quickly. Sat at the dockside, my parents resolved that we would have to go back to one of the restaurants that I had loudly dismissed earlier, as they served up a food that was to the young me the object of fear and disgust; Pizza Hut. I’ll never forget first biting in to that disgusting, rancid, hot, cheesy, actually not bad, actually quite good, delicious pizza and easily clearing my plate. It might not sound much, but that first slice of pizza was the first crack in my ‘food wall’.

I’d like to say that after that holiday my outlook on food changed and I became a culinary kid, enjoying all the tastes and flavours on offer and becoming passionate about food. But it wasn’t the case. As I grew up food remained something to be endured — a means to an end. I knew what I liked (breaded chicken or party sausage rolls smothered in ketchup were my thing) and whilst as I grew in to my teenage years I became more open to a microwave Tikka Masala and would MAYBE have some broccoli or carrots with a roast, my palette remained as it always had done; bland and beige. But I wasn’t too bothered, I was eating food I liked and my teenage metabolism kept me in good shape despite the carbs and fats I was consuming every day. I fed my way through university on a cocktail of student union nachos whilst playing pool and ‘home-cooked’ dinners that often consisted of super noodles and microwaved value sausage rolls. Mouth-watering stuff.

After a number of years working in financial services, in 2016 I decided to make a big career change. I’d always been interested in design and with the help of my interior designer wife, I started to learn the programs I would need to start a career in graphic and marketing design. I put together a portfolio of my work and to my surprise even managed to get myself an interview with a contract caterer ― I was just hoping they wouldn’t ask me about food!

Fast forward to today; it’s early 2018 and I’ve now been with Blue Apple for eighteen months. In that time I’ve learned more about food, cookery and the industry than I could have imagined. I remember on my first day having my first ever poached egg (a revelation) and not even knowing how it was made! It’s been an education, but an inspiring one. I now love trying new flavours out and enjoy visiting our sites and the different foods our chefs produce. I’ve even taken to cookery myself ― and in a nice conclusion to the story ― I love making my own pizzas from scratch. My next step is to try making pasta.

These are simple things to cook for many, but it’s a big step for someone who survived largely on chips and breaded chicken until his late twenties. Instead of fearing new flavours, I now go looking for them…

…Just don’t give me cucumber.


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