It was a feat of dazzling mathematical precision and took six hours of work — but a West Cork restaurant lived up to its pledge to create a monster 8ft pizza for charity.
Skibbereen pizzeria owner Andrew Loane not only had to make 16 large triangular pizzas, each measuring 4ft in length, but he had to calibrate them to the nth degree to ensure each piece dove-tailed with the others to create a giant circular pizza.
The pizza, which was actually 97in in diameter, took a full six hours to prepare. It was cooked in sections which were then carefully fitted together.
“When you looked at it, it appeared to be a full pizza,” said Mr Loane, who, along with his chefs worked on the enormous pie from 6am to 12pm on Saturday at his restaurant, the Oak Fire Pizzeria in Skibbereen.
“First I drew a full 360-degree circle which I then divided by 16 to get the correct angles.”
He also had to make special metal templates on which to calculate the angle and size of each pizza “slice”.
“I cut out special trays of metal sheeting to use as templates for each slice to ensure they were the correct shape — it was a case of real mathematical precision,” he said.
Once the pizza was assembled, each “slice” had to be divided into two, to make 32 slices, each of which were then sold for €20, raising €850 in aid of the Irish Cancer Society.
“We sold the entire pizza. It was a great achievement and we’re very happy with it. It was very hard work, we started at 6am last Saturday morning, making the dough and cooking the pizzas and we had the last slice in place by five minutes past noon.
“People were very impressed,” he said, adding that the giant dish got “lots of oohs and aaahhs”.
“It was hard work but it was great fun. In fact, we all enjoyed it so much we’re going to do it again next year and I’m thinking about making a 10ft pizza next time around.
“This was probably the biggest pizza made in Ireland to date.”
The 97in pie required about 20kg of the restaurant’s special pizza dough, five litres of tomato sauce, 10kg of cheese, and about 10kg of toppings, which included everything from pepperoni, spicy beef, and parma ham to olives, onions, and peppers.
At 12pm on Saturday, the doors of the restaurant were thrown open and customers crowded in to marvel at — and taste — the finished product.
“We got a great reaction,” said Andrew, who added that people were particularly fascinated by the cooking method, which was kept secret right up to the last moment.
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