The world’s best pizza chef has been crowned – and he’s in London

In the pizza world, things simply don’t get much bigger than being crowned the best pizza chef in the world. And that’s exactly what happened last night (September 13), where a global selection of chefs competed to be named the best in the World 50 Top Pizza Awards. 

Competitors came from all over the world, ranging from Italy to the US (two nations that are famously particularly proud of their pizza), but the overall winner is based in London. Very, very exciting news, we know. 

So, who is the best pizza chef in the world? Well, (drum roll, please) … it’s Michele Pascarella, head chef and founder of Napoli on the Road in Chiswick. Pascarella (who is Italian, obvs) won the prestigious Global Pizza Maker of the Year 2023. 

This guy has been making pizza since he was 11 years old, and he learnt in a town called Caserta, near Naples, the home of the good ol’ pizza pie. Here’s what the pizza maestro looks like. 

World 50 Top Pizza Awards, Napoli on the Road
Photograph: World 50 Top Pizza Awards, Napoli on the Road

Moving to the UK at the age of 19, Pascarella arrived with a cohort of promising Italian chefs, who have subsequently opened restaurants in Plymouth, Truro and Newquay. He set up Napoli on the Road in 2019, and that’s exactly how it began — on the road. The business, which has flourished into two budding restaurants, began as a truck from which he would take to food markets around London. 

Pacsarella and his restaurant have won a number of awards, including a spot in the top 50 pizzas in Europe in 2021, the top 50 pizzas in the world in 2022, and the best European pizza maker earlier this year. 

Upon receiving this accolade, Pascarella spoke to The Chiswick Calendar, saying that ‘[The 50 Top Pizza awards are] like the Michelin guide for pizza.’

However, his Global Pizza Maker of the Year win is surely the ultimate honour, but it’s easy to see why Pascarella is so deserving. The annual ceremony is based on a rigorous selection process, including anonymous restaurant visits by pizza critics. It’s all very mysterious. 

On his win last night, Pascarella said that ‘winning Pizza Maker of the Year is a testament to pushing the boundaries of flavour and innovation within pizza. It’s not just about crafting the perfect dough or finding the finest ingredients; it’s about the artistry and passion that goes into every slice.’

Pascarella has rightly been dubbed the ‘pioneer of contemporary pizza.’ So, if your stomach is rumbling after reading that, you can check out Napoli on the Road’s current menu here

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