Bristol-based kitchen specialist QCM Equipment has completed the fitout of the second of a trio of restaurants for Michelin-starred chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias.
Pi Shop is another project where QCM’s skill as an innovative kitchen design house has produced a landmark outlet, as the site was just voted Best Pizza Restaurant in the Bristol Good Food Awards 2016 – no mean feat in the highly competitive and crowded Bristol restaurant scene.
Peter Sanchez-Iglesias is the man behind Casamia, voted UK’s fourth best restaurant by the Sunday Times, who with his late brother Jonrey shared a dream of creating an authentic Italian pizza restaurant. Jonrey tragically lost a long battle with skin cancer in late 2015 at the age of just 32 and was described by Gordon Ramsey as “an incredible chef”. He was deeply involved in the development of the Pi Shop and his influence is clear.
In January 2016 the Sanchez Brothers moved their successful Michelin starred restaurant Casamia from North Bristol, to the former General Hospital site in the city centre, which has been converted into luxury apartments. Gerry Oakley of QCM Equipment worked alongside them for 2 years in developing the designs for the fine dining Casamia – located in former warehouse vaults alongside the popular Bristol City docks.
The move to their new site gave them the space and created an opportunity to fulfil Peter and Jonreys’ ambition to open two other restaurants, the first being Pi Shop, a stripped back ‘Napoli meets Bristol’ pizza restaurant with open plan kitchen and centrepiece wood fired pizza oven. The final piece of the jigsaw was Paco Tapas, an Andalusian influenced tapas bar – with a unique open flame Robata grill, which was due to open in late November 2016.
The concept behind Pi Shop was to offer unique sourdough thin crust pizzas, to the strict Vera Pizza Napoletana standards, with simple toppings in fun, relaxed surroundings. Peter and Jonrey were clear from the outset that the kitchen should be part of the theatre and completely on view – QCM worked alongside Peter and his development chef Josh Green over several months in evaluating potential manufacturers for the feature oven. It had to be purely wood fired, with no gas burners, and capable of meeting the high demands of a busy restaurant and consistently achieving the high temperatures needed for the crisp base of authentic Napoli pizza.
After much research of the market they decided to work with Levon Gulian of The Clay Oven Company in London, who have nearly 40 years experience in manufacturing clay pizza and tandoor ovens. Clay Oven mixes its own clay and has developed a unique patented clay firing process, which is designed to enable its ovens to withstand the very high temperatures reached without cracking, and make the appliances durable and reliable.