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Pizza of the action at centre

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: June 27, 2013

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IT is an indisputable fact that a just-cooked pizza, fresh off the paddle and grabbed from the depths of a wood-burning oven, is a thing of beauty.

And eating it in the open air, after an afternoon of watersport exertions, can only add to its charms.

Chef Ryan Hodges, from Port Tennant, and his girlfriend Rhian Evans, both from Fired Up Feasts, will be serving it up, at the 360 Beach and Watersports Centre, Mumbles Road on Saturday. Sea-bourne fun, music and good food will be on offer at the Swansea Street Feasts Festival.

Eight street food traders will do their thing at the Saturday event, with Persian, Indian, Japanese, American and other treats up for grabs.

And while Ryan favours authentic ingredients for his pizzas – even the mobile oven was made by an Italian family, in Essex – expect a few creative twists too.

"I am a bit of a purist when it comes to pizza,'' he says. ''I don't go for the pineapple and ham toppings, although we do a lot of children parties and they love it, so if the customer wants it, we do it.

"But for events like these we like to cook with Welsh produce, so we will do a Gower lamb pizza and a cockle, bacon and laverbread pizza, which is very popular.

"People don't expect to find lamb on a pizza but lamb and flatbread is a classic North African dish."

He is even happy to let us in on the secret to the perfect, authentic crust.

"The secret to great pizza is the flour. We use Caputo flour, which is imported from Italy. It is very fine so it makes the lightest of thin crust pizzas."

While you won't catch me criticising a decent roadside burger van, it has to be said that the UK hasn't exactly excelled itself when it comes to street food over the years.

While we might not be able to compete with the speedy morsels whipped up by vendors in Thailand, in Greece or in South America, we are getting more discerning and more adventurous about what we eat, says Ryan. And he is a big fan of the ethnic mash-up of street foods available on the streets of London.

"You can get anything there – Malaysian, Persian, Brazilian – a bit of everything.

"We want to bring a little bit of that here.

"And people are much more adventurous now, partly because of Jamie Oliver's style of food. "And we get a lot of students who watch Man V Food and they are keen to try new things."

The day runs from 3pm to 9pm.

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