Celebrity Chef Series 2016 with Col Cacchio Pizzeria : Portrait Series

Words: Crush

Zola NeneCol’Cacchio pizzeria is famous for its delectable menu of pizzas, pastas, salads and more. They are also well-known for their Celebrity Chef Series campaign, which has been running since 2007. The Celebrity Chef Series stemmed from Col’Cacchio pizzeria’s desire to give back to communities through a medium they love, food. Three well-known chefs from around the country have each created a pizza that they feel represents their journey with food; all of which will run as a part of the summer menu. R5 from the sale of each and every Celebrity Chef Series pizza will be donated to a charitable cause.

Since inception, this amazing campaign has raised over R1,8m in aid of worthy causes.

So, as a consumer, you sit down to enjoy your choice of pizza from the Celebrity Chef Series; you enjoy its crisp thin base and wood-fired goodness, knowing that a part of the money you’re paying for is going towards a very worthy cause. But who exactly is benefiting from this contribution? This year the money will benefit The Children’s Hospital Trustwhich advances child healthcare through the Red Cross War Memorial’s Children’s Hospital. 100% of the funds raised by The Children’s Hospital Trust, go towards improving facilities and care for patients, not a cent goes towards administration of any kind.

The fundraising done through projects such as the Celebrity Chef Series is of vital importance; it ensures that while children are in the care of the hospital, they are in the best possible environment for fighting their illnesses and getting well.

For many who are of school going age, lying in a hospital bed can be tedious and boring, but with the help of volunteers they are kept busy and motivated. There are good days and bad days but through it all, loving staff, caring play therapy volunteers and many more, ensure that these children have the best chance possible of getting well and returning to childhood. That alone is reason enough to support this amazing cause.

Each year Col’Cacchio pizzeria approaches celebrity chefs to take part in the Celebrity Chef Series, and this year three decorated local chefs are taking part – namely Claire Allen, Neil Anthony and Zola Nene. This means there are three totally unique and delicious pizzas coming our way. We catch up with the first celebrity chef in the series, the much-loved  Zola Nene, to find out a bit more about her and her pizza creation.

Meet Zola…

You’ll know Zola from her role as resident chef on SABC 3’s Expresso Show, she’s been hard at work this year having just published her first cookbook Simply Delicious. Aside from Expresso, she is also an accomplished food stylist and recipe developer. Zola’s pizza is called the Don Salsa and features pulled BBQ chicken, corn and avocado salsa, and is finished off with the smoky Tabasco® Chipotle Pepper Sauce.

What was the inspiration behind your Don Salsa pizza?
My pizza is inspired by the Mexican street-food craze that has recently hit the SA food scene – it’s everything that you’d find on a good taco basically. I chose to use pulled chicken instead of pork, so that the pizza would appeal to more people. I LOVE avo on my pizza, so the salsa that went along with it needed to have avocado included. Basically, it’s all my favourite flavours on top of a pizza base, YUM!

Pizzas are so personal and everyone has their favourite topping, was it hard narrowing your choice down to this topping?
It wasn’t that difficult really. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to pizza and I often find myself ordering the same pizzas over and over again. When coming up with this one, I just put together a combination of my favourite things, and being a chef, I know what combinations work well together.

What do you love most about the Col’Cacchio pizzeria Celebrity Chef Series?
I love that it is all for a good cause, the fact that proceeds go to helping children gives it such a feel-good factor. Food is my passion, so the fact that I could use my passion and skill to help make a difference is a wonderful feeling.

What was the best thing about writing your own cookbook?
Being able to share my food journey with people is such a gift, I’m so grateful that my cookbook has been so successful so far. I love the fact that I get to be in people’s homes and that I can inspire them to try new recipes and make their own food memories.

What is your favourite thing to cook when you don’t feel like cooking?
Pasta, it’s just so simple to make and also so comforting.

Now that you know Zola a little better, why not try her delicious Celebrity Chef creation! Head down to your closest Col’Cacchio pizzeria branch, order your Don Salsa pizza, and enjoy the delicious flavours and the knowledge that you will be helping the kids with the Children’s Hospital Trust!

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