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Wild Fire Pizza’s authentic Neapolitan pizza has hungry customers clamouring for more with new cafe

For the latest episode in our street food series, Brian Stormont chatted with John King the man behind Wild Fire Pizza in Fife.

If you are on the lookout for authentic Neapolitan pizza then street food vendor Wild Fire Pizza could be the answer to your prayers.

Run by former chef John King for the last five years, Wild Fire Pizza has been serving up tasty slices of the Italian favourite in and around Newport on Tay, as well as being a familiar sight at weddings.

John King of Wild Fire Pizza.

Working as a chef for two decades all over the world, from the Pier House Hotel in Port Appin to Simon Gault’s restaurant Bistro Lago in New Zealand, private yachts in the Mediterranean and private ski chalets in North America and Europe, the 44-year-old took the plunge in opening his business from a converted horsebox after spotting a gap in the market.

Wild Fire Pizza expansion

And he has recently expanded his offering with the opening of a cafe, also in the picturesque Fife town of Newport.

“I was a chef for 20 years and I wanted to work for myself. I could see that the street food revolution was happening elsewhere and it wasn’t really happening in Scotland then. I just saw an opportunity to get involved,” John revealed.

John’s wood-fired pizza oven getting fired up.

“It was a gap in the market, there was no one else in the area doing it, and there was no one else in Scotland doing it from a horsebox. There was nothing like a clay oven in a horsebox in Scotland.”

Gap for a mobile pizza operation

John had experience of working with wood-fired ovens while travelling in the southern hemisphere, and he decided that was the road he wished to go down and quickly, Wild Fire Pizza built up a following.

“I had worked with wood-fired ovens in New Zealand when I was travelling,” he continued.

“So, it was just something I knew and it all fitted together. There was a gap in this area for a mobile operation making wood-fired pizza.

Prepping a pizza.

“I am trying to go for Neapolitan pizzas as authentic as possible. It is all homemade dough, nothing is bought in and I am trying to be as sustainable as possible,” continued John, who uses a combination of local produce and authentic Italian ingredients.

His mobile operation has been pretty much static during the last year or so, due to restrictions in place because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

However, he has launched a new project in Kinbrae Park in Newport called The Magic Door Cafe, which suits John well as he is running the pizza operation from his back garden which happens to open up into the park.

John shapes his dough.

“I have just opened up The Magic Door Cafe in Newport which is my latest venture,” John added.

“I got permission from Fife Council to put tables and chairs in the park. I have been doing that for a couple of months and my back gate actually opens up into the park, so that is where we have been operating from all the way through lockdown. I have been trading on a takeaway pizza time slot basis for the whole of lockdown.

“I have actually enjoyed what I have been doing and the format of it, so I think I will be continuing with that and working from home at the moment.

“I do two nights a week takeaway pizza from here and three days a week with the cafe side of things. We do takeaway pizzas during the day and kids pizzas as there is a kids’ playpark here.”

John adds the finishing touches to a pizza.

Other tasty treats on offer

While it is pizza that tempts his customers’ tastebuds, John also has other treats on offer.

“It is always pizza that proves most popular, but I also do dough balls and little things called half breads which are herbs and oils on pizza dough, flattened out just like little breads with dips. We also do a range of cakes, traybakes, pavlovas, cannolis, that sort of thing.”

The finished article – an authentic Neapolitan pizza.

And John, who is engaged to be married, will actually be holding his wedding ceremony in a year’s time when Wild Fire Pizza will be the caterers.

“I am actually getting married at home in July next year and I will be using my horsebox at my own wedding.

“Weddings are a big part of my business, they are around 50% of my income.”

Map of street food vendors in the north and north-east

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