Founders of The Pizza Guys, Rami Badawi and Amber Haque unveil Dubai’s first sourdough pizzeria
What made The Pizza Guys concept successful?
People liked that we were two people following our passion, and they were attracted to the simplicity. The intention of Pizza Guys was to create a high quality version of the food people want to eat, so we have a very simple menu that is entirely made from scratch. People aren’t necessarily interested in the details of ingredients, but they appreciate how quality tastes.
Please explain the concept of PI. Dubai:
The name PI. comes from the American colloquial term for pizza, “pie”. Many of our customers recommended that we have a bigger, more accessible space so we decided to do a more elevated version of The Pizza Guys that still specialises in what we do best – pizza.
Why do you use sourdough to make pizza at PI. Dubai?
If not properly fermented, wheat contains many anti-nutrients that prevent your body from absorbing minerals. Sourdough fermentation occurs in the presence of probiotic bacteria that neutralise these anti-nutrients, enabling your body to absorb the minerals in the wheat. Secondly, sourdough bread has a lower glycemic index than regular bread. The starches in the wheat are food for the yeast and probiotic bacteria in the sourdough environment, leaving less sugars for your body to digest. Thirdly, sourdough bread has far less gluten than regular bread. Studies have shown that even celiacs can enjoy sourdough bread with no adverse effects.
What else is unique about the ingredients you use?
We use all-natural ingredients to make everything from scratch. So for example, with our pistachio cheesecake and gelato, instead of buying ready-made pistachio paste, we actually roast pistachios and make a butter to use in our gelato and cheesecake. We try to use the absolute best ingredients in all our food, whether that be heirloom tomatoes, marble score, 6 to 7 Wagyu beef or 36-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano. You don’t find many restaurants at our price point using such ingredients.
What are your expansion plans for this concept?
We never think about expansion until we are sure we have something that can expand. The first year is usually about assessing what we have done and how people react to it. Once we have addressed all those issues, we look to see if we still have a viable product and where we can take it from there.