The Trend Of ‘Pizza Acrobatics’ Is All Flair & Fundamentals
Image Credit: Italian Wine+ Food Festival

The food and beverage industry keeps seeing new trends emerging. Innovative chefs worldwide keep experimenting with new styles of cooking, newer whackier ingredients and even play around with the chemical composition of a dish to create delicious and unimaginably good-looking dishes. However, a great dining experience is not merely about eating exemplary dishes served in a fine décor, with finesse and style; entertainment has remained a critical factor in defining how we look for high-end dining experiences. 

For entertainment’s sake, the concept of ‘Pizza Acrobatics’ started, where pizza makers juggle with pizza dough; they twirl, spin, flip and fly the pizza dough (Multiple doughs at a time, too) and leave onlookers awed and amazed. It’s a sight to behold. Pizza acrobatics is a sport with annual competitions held at pizza shows worldwide. Pizza makers compete with each other, manoeuvring the pizza dough, and juggling new tricks with the great flow of fast and high-energy music to impress the judges. And then the world champion of pizza acrobatics is announced. 

Image Credit- Eat To Your Heart's Content/facebook

Pizza acrobatics started in the mid-1980s when shows and games involving pizza making came about, and as innovative a breed as the chefs are, pizza flipping and flair with the dough gave birth to this fantastic awe-inspiring sport. Most Pizza acrobats are pizza makers at first, and only when they nail the art of dough making and creating amazing pizzas do they graduate into pizza acrobats. This norm has been borne out of the necessity and importance of dough to the sport of pizza acrobatics. If juggling with the dough is an art one needs to practice for years, the art of dough making is the most crucial fundamental required to do it in the first place. 

Pizza dough used by pizza acrobats is not the usual dough used to make a Margherita pizza; the dough for pizza acrobatics is purely used for the said purpose and is unpalatable for consumption. High-gluten flour is used, and the salt content is much higher in the dough used. Skills and hard work are the fundamental tenets of being a pizza acrobat, as years of practice are required to achieve the flow of a pizza acrobat.  

Juggling with pizza dough is tricky, as every time the pizza dough goes up, it comes back in a different shape; the ever-changing and elastic nature of pizza dough makes the task difficult; however, once you have attained the required skills (of dough making and acrobatics), it is equally magical to see pizza dough flying around like a frisbee, spinning on the fingers, or rolling around the shoulders, or under the legs, or new and innovative manoeuvres pizza acrobats come up with. Rubber or silicone doughs are available on which one can practice as much as one wants before getting skilled and comfortable enough to start with the actual dough. That would save money (flour isn’t cheap) and clean up! 

Restaurants worldwide, especially pizza houses or Italian restaurants, have used pizza acrobatics to lure and entertain their customers. And the sight and experience are exciting to watch for people of all ages. The art of pizza acrobatics also reached the coveted stage of America’s got talent, where Pizza Man Nick Diesslin enthralled everyone with the magical art of Pizza Acrobatics. Sofia Vergara loved it, so did Simon Cowell, and the man got four slices of ‘Yes’ from the judges. Nick Diesllin did wonders for himself and for the art of Pizza Acrobatics to be exposed to the world on international television broadcasted worldwide. 

Is it time for India to catch up on this viral trend? Are there Pizza chefs practising the Pizza Acrobatic in India as we speak? Would an Indian chef participate in the world championships and maybe win one day? Well. That’s for all of us to see; however, how wonderful would it be to see a restaurant nearby where a talented pizza chef entertains a crowd with his magical skills of Pizza Acrobatics? Let’s keep our eyes on it! 

Sidharth Bhan Gupta, Founder of 361 Degrees Hospitality, is a Hospitality / Food and Beverage / Restaurant Consultant.