In early January, a new Detroit style vegan pizza venue opened in the Northern Quarter.
Side Vegan Pizza has received glowing reviews. People have been praising its inventive menu, like the garlic miso butter dough balls. The menu features unique pizza flavours with an adventurous mix of flavours. You can check out their menu here.
I caught up with Dan Hope, one of the founders, who is already well known on the Manchester culinary scene as the founder of Firebird Hope. He’s also the director of Krum vegan bakery. If you haven’t tried their jam doughnuts yet, you really need to. They’re the best I’ve ever tasted. You can find them and other delicious savoury treats from Dan’s other venture, Plant Grill, at Escape to Freight Island.
S: How long has Four Side Vegan Pizza been in the making?
D: We’ve been working on Four Side since March last year. There are three of us – Jess, Tristan and Dan – and we all met whilst working together in the kitchen at YES.
S: Can you describe what makes Detroit-style pizza unique, compared to the typical pizza slice?
D: Detroit-style pizza was invented in 1946 by Gus Guerra at Buddy’s Pizza in Detroit. Gus used one of the steel pans from the automotive industry to cook a pizza in, and the style was born. Characteristics of the Detroit-style include; a light, pillowy base, caramelised and crispy edges (from the hot pan) and sauces/toppings applied in stripes. I’m pretty sure that a 100% vegan version wouldn’t have been on Gus’ mind when he invented the style 75 years ago – I hope he wouldn’t mind.
S: What inspired you to recreate plant based Detroit style pizzas?
D: I moved to a 100% vegan diet nearly two years ago and decided that I no longer wanted to involve animal products in my business (I was doing the food at YES at the time). Tristan was developing a Detroit-style pizza and I thought it made sense to combine our ideas. Tristan was happy to work with me on a 100% vegan product.
S: What is your favourite pizza that features on the menu?
D: My favourite pizzas on our menu our the Lucky Square (which is a nod so some of our favourite Asian flavours) and the N’Duja (which features our house-made vegan N’Duja, which was developed in house by Jess.
S: Will you be incorporating any vegan desserts into your menu?
D: Yes! We are bringing Krum Vegan Doughnuts to the Northern Quarter this coming weekend, January 23/24.
S: Are you going to be featuring on any delivery sites?