basilico on YouTube:
It all started in 1998 because a little seven year old boy wanted a pizza. He wasn’t able to get his pizza because the pizza shop was too busy to deliver. His disappointment began a chain of events that led to the idea for the first wood fired pizza delivery company in the world, basilico.
Using our background at the top end of the hotel and restaurant business we wanted to replicate the quality both in the method of preparation which gives the pizza its original authentic flavour which cannot be replicated , superior fresh toppings and of course the service level to reflect the quality of the experience. The unique fact of using a wood oven set us apart from the rest of the sector.
Up until 1998 the pizza delivery companies were delivering pizza prepared in electric or gas ovens and there were very few restaurants in England using wood ovens the product was localised and had great difficulty in adopting due to the laws banning the burning of wood and creating smoke in addition the skill required to manage the wood fired ovens takes a long time to learn as each pizza is freshly handmade and placed in the 500 degrees ovens where they need to be turned to be evenly cooked different toppings and size require different times and the temperature is controlled by the skill of the oven operator.
Our continued commitment is as from the outset is printed on our menus, to deliver quality, innovation, service and value for money.
In 1998 after five month of planning and building work including the 10 ton handmade oven built by an Italian family who flew in especially to build the oven and fire it for seven days so it will not crack. We were ready to open our first shop at Lavender Hill a day after we made our first pizza to family and friends .The shop was very well received and it’s design was recognised by the Royal institute of Architects and included in a show of good design which greatly helped establish the brand a first for the food delivery sector. We were very fortunate that Guy Dimond of Time Out covered our shop after having our pizzas on several occasions giving us a great platform .
We were the first pizza delivery company ever to be given a Red star in Time Out eating out guide and the first to be included in other food guides such as Harden’s and Zagat. Our reviews have included articles in various international publications and several accolades of which we are very grateful and proud of.
We set out to reflect our philosophy using the name basilico and the green colour to portray freshness ,we used a new design format for our menus using lower case type ,restaurant style description of our pizzas and our fresh green colour at the time was very different from what was sent out by other delivery companies .Most importantly the content included our range of wood fired pizzas with toppings such as rocket, parma ham ,cotto ham ,fresh asparagus. We only use imported fresh fior di latte mozzarella from Italy. Our dough and tomato sauce since inception is made on our premises to our own recipe using imported flour and tomatoes from Italy. We are very exacting in our suppliers as this is what helps define our product.
Apart from our pizzas we introduced fresh juices, smoothies made only from fresh squeezed produce never frozen, freshly made salads and pastas.
All the achievements of basilico are due to the great people who have worked on our team and for those who are continuing to believe in our goal to serve the best pizza in the world
That little boy now works for basilico.
1998 the first basilico opens in Lavender Hill SW11
1999 five months after our first shop we opened our second in Fulham SW6
Set up basilico’s own naturally sustained wood supply facility from our own woods and forests around Surrey
2001 Finchley Road NW3 and East Sheen SW14 ,opened both adopting a different interior design using an open plan space with no shop front .Finchley Road is also known for its light wall and East Sheen for the silent witness episode written by one of our customers who was inspired by basilico and insisted the episode is filmed on location
2004 Lavender Hill and East Sheen become franchise shops
2005 Islington N1 ,opens as the first purpose built shop for a franchisee
2010 Crouch End,N8 opens using our new style wood fired oven and incorporating limited counter seating.
2013 Tower Bridge Road SE1 opens featuring our new oven forward store design, collection customers can watch the pizzas been created from a ball of fresh dough and cooked in our wood fired oven.