Federer will undoubtedly be missed on the court, on our screens, and in the locker room — but he’ll also be missed by the chefs who catered to him during his tournaments all over the world.

Unlike Novak Djokovic, who follows a stringent, gluten-free diet, Federer is known for being an unfussy eater who likes dabbling in different cuisines. He doesn’t shy away from the occasional ice cream or chocolate indulgence, loves his Swiss cheese fondue, and has a plateful of pasta (often a spaghetti pomodoro) before every match. 

While on the tour circuit, there is one food that chefs discovered Federer was particularly fond of: pizza. Although, this isn’t pizza with the pedestrian toppings you and I might enjoy. Yan Dilie, the chef in charge of the Player’s Restaurant, which provides meals to all the athletes playing in the Shanghai Masters, has said that Federer loves his pie with fresh fig, Parma ham, arugula and white truffle cheese cream. (Nadal prefers his with tomato, mozzarella, salted fish, olive and shrimps).

The Restaurant is set up at the Qizhong Tennis Centre a month before the tournament is scheduled to begin. Two hundred chefs and kitchen staff work from 8 am to 12.30 am every day during the duration of the Shanghai Masters; some stay back until 2 am to serve the players whose matches finish late into the night.

While there are full-fledged banquets laid out for all the players to partake in, the top athletes are invited to select their own pizza toppings, which in turn make it to the menu and are named after them. Like Federer on court, the pizza that bears his name is also a winner, being the one most requested by other diners.

Zucchini Pan Pizza

Via Picky Palate

Servings: 6. 

Prep time: 10 mins. 

Cook time: 30 mins.


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchinis, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 pepperoni slices, quartered
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • sprig of fresh basil


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Take an 8-inch cast iron pan and coat the bottom with olive oil. Layer the zucchini slices in the pan. When one layer is complete, season the zucchini slices with salt, oregano and pepper. Repeat until all slices are used up. 
  • Spoon pizza sauce over the zucchini slices, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, then top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Add the quartered pepperoni slices, along with a pinch or two more of dried oregano and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove carefully from oven, garnish with basil and serve hot.