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Gizzi Erskine & Professor Green pop-up launches at Passo

Chef Gizzi Erskine and Stephen Manderson, AKA Professor Green, bring ‘Giz & Green’ pop-up to Shoreditch Italian restaurant, Passo from this Friday 17 July

After the success of the weekly lockdown Instagram mini-series ‘Giz & Green’s Monday Night Fakeaway’, where musician and documentary maker Manderson was taught how to make his favourite takeaways in isolation by chef Erskine, Giz & Green will now enjoy a life ‘offline’ taking over Old Street’s popular Italian-inspired restaurant, Passo, over the summer.

The two best friends have decided to turn the most successful dish of the series (their take on the Anglo-American deep-dish stuffed crust pizza) into a pop-up concept in London’s Old Street. Collaborating with Passo, Giz & Green’s aim is to encourage customers back to local businesses and its supply chains, with a ‘back-to-work’ scheme.

Highlights from the menu include the classic Hawaiian, Pepperoni and Veggie ‘stuffed crust’, plus the duo have joined up with Tabasco for the Chicken BBQ stuffed crust pizza which includes Tabasoc Chipotle Sauce. The pizza dough itself is made from the highest quality white rye sourdough, sourced from local bakery heroes Breadstation.

All the ingredients are fresh and locally sourced, including incredible San Marzano tomatoes, giving a more refined, delicious and digestible incarnation without sacrificing everything you want from a classic fast food pizza, such as the stuffed crust and dips.

Keeping things local, ‘Dalston’s Soda Co. Cola, Lemonade, Cherryade and Ginger Beer will be available among other locally produced drinks. The menu will be available to eat in (bookings and walk-ins), take-out and delivery.

Manderson said, “Learning to cook these ‘Fakeaway’ recipes was a Godsend and a real laugh during lockdown in Morocco. It’s been so cool seeing the amazing response and it feels great to be able give back, especially considering I grew up in East London.

'These pizzas are some of the best I’ve tried. London is flooded with the Naples style pizza, and we want to reset the benchmark for the old school 90s delivery pizza that we all grew up loving.”

Erskine added, “The hospitality industry has taken a devastating hit through lockdown, and whilst the delivery sector has done its best to adapt, the supply chain is still really struggling. We are hoping to give an opportunity to local chefs and producers to get back to work.

'Stephen and I have been good friends for years, enjoy the same kind of food and cooking, and are really happy to finally be partnering up.”

Erskine’s head chef, Phil Smith, from restaurants such as Bibendum and Mare Street Market will be taking the reins as the executive chef with operations run by the owner of Passo, Jonny Boud.

Jonny said, “Gizzi and I have been friends for a while, I’ve always been a fan of what she does and what she stands for; her passion, her work ethic, her sustainability stance and her dedication to exceptional quality food. We share a love of great pizza so this seemed like the perfect collaboration to re-open the Passo doors with. We have some other exciting projects in the pipeline, too.”