Hangin With: What do pizza chefs eat when they’re hungover?

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Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

We’ve all grappled with the self-inflicted turmoil that a hangover can bring, and we all have our own culinary rituals to try and pull ourselves out of it. 

For some, the only answer is carbs, and plenty of them, too. Others will reach for the Nutribullet and attempt to drown their sorrows in a glass of blended greens, and then there are those who can only manage a Pot Noodle, if anything at all. 

hangover eating

Everyone has a meal that pulls them out of a hangover (Credit: Alamy)

But do you ever wonder what actual chefs eat when their heads are sore? Does every burger chef crave the finest slab of meat, for instance, or do some nurture a secret McDonald’s habit, or even go against all their daily instincts and opt for a salad? 

From the owners of curry houses to those slinging sandwiches in delis, in this new franchise, we speak to some of the most exciting names in food, and seek to discover if they have the same hankerings as their peers, or if hangover cravings really *are* different for everyone. 

First up…

What do pizza chefs eat when they’re hungover?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that all pizza chefs eat when they’re hungover is… well, pizza. After all, a pizza has cured a whole manner of our own sins over the years.

But after slinging pies day in, day out, do the world’s best pizza chefs actually want their own food, or does their heart desire something else entirely? 

Eager to find out, we spoke to three pizza chefs from around the globe, and here’s what they told us: 

Jake Bucknall, co-owner of Dinner For One Hundred, London

dinner for one hundred

Jake is the co-founder of London’s Dinner for One Hundred (Credit: D4100)

What’s your ultimate hangover food and why?

“I used to live in between Uxbridge Road & Goldhawk Road in Shepherd’s Bush. Living there was every hungover man’s dream. You’re spoilt for choice. 

But what drew me in time and time again was a trip down to Roti Joupa. When I’m hungover I want all the flavours stuffed in my mouth in one fat swoop. 

For £15 I get a curry chicken roti, a portion of hot doubles, and some tamarind balls doused in their own sweet fiery sauce. Maybe I’ll add an ice cold can of coke to strengthen the dose. Once you’ve taken that first bite, every muscle in your body loosens and hardens at the same time. 

You taste it beyond your tongue. Occasionally you take a break to let the flavours route around a bit. Roti Joupa totally consumes you.” 

Talk us through the setup

“I’m eating it next to my girlfriend, equally slumped on the sofa, and something on the TV. 

I say something because I am totally absorbed in my food. It’s me and my food in a world of our own. And we love each other very much.”

What item on your own menu would you advise hungover customers to order?

“I tend not to go to work hungover as there’s this vexatious shame that lingers on such trips. 

That said, I know exactly what I would devour. I’ve always been a half and half man. Why limit your palette to the same thing when there’s a world of more. 

Moreover, I want some balance when I’m hungover – some indulgence and some health – so I get 1/2 Jésus (tomato, mozzarella, basil, pepperoni, jalapeño) 1/2 parmigiana (tomato, mozzarella, aubergine, basil, Datterini tomatoes and parmesan). Plus, three dips (two lemon and rosemary and one nduja). 

The pepperonis and the jalapeños on one half satiate my need for meat, spice and acid, whilst the roasted aubergines, Datterini tomatoes and parmesan on the other half give me much needed vitality, health and warmth. Do it.”

Georgia Caporuscio, owner of Don Antonio, New York 

don antonio pizza new york

Georgia owns Don Antonio pizza New York (Credit: Don Antonio)

What’s your ultimate hangover meal and why? 

“Since I moved to NYC, my go to hangover food became a toasted bagel with 2 eggs and bacon. I know that coming from a Neapolitan pizza maker like me sounds weird, but pizza ‘does not act’ as a recovering food for me anymore. Maybe because I eat it almost everyday.

A bagel is something that I usually order as delivery from different stores such as PickABagel or Daily Provision, Black Seeds Bagel, but sometimes my boyfriend prepares it for me since we always have those basic ingredients at home. 

You have protein from eggs, carbs from the bagel and saltiness of bacon. Of course, an espresso on the side gives me that kick as a ‘good morning!’”

Talk us through the set up? 

“Very simple set up: at home, scrolling Instagram, eating bagel…”

What item on your own menu would you advise hungover customers to order?

“Our menu at Don Antonio is all about pizza and salads. So of course, [I’d suggest] one of the best remedies for most people’s hangovers… PIZZA. 

I would suggest [a pizza] without tomato sauce, [which could] maybe create some acidity. My favourite choice would be Salsiccia & Friarielli: it’s a white pizza with Smoked buffalo mozzarella, local pork ground sausage and broccoli rabe. 

It’s a flavourful pizza and it’s gonna help you out in that difficult moment”.

Mauro Espedito, owner of OWAP Pizzeria, Naples

owap pizzeria

OWAP pizzeria’s founder, Mauro (Credit: OWAP Pizzeria)

What’s your ultimate hangover meal and why? 

“When I was in Australia and America, I noticed that after people went out, they just wanted to eat pizza, pizza, pizza.

I tried to eat heavy food [like them] and then I felt so bad… like, worse than before. So I said, okay, let’s do this a different way.

I decided to eat healthy food. No pasta, no pizza, no red meat. Just simple. I love Caesar salad with chicken. 

Especially at work, my mind wants to eat something different than a salad, but I say to myself, ‘you must do it, just for today’. 

Then, usually, after the hangover’s gone, I’d drink a beer!”

Talk us through the set up? 

“It’s at home, or maybe at a restaurant. To me, it doesn’t matter where you eat. It’s what you eat.

Who’s with me? Whoever was with me the day before… sometimes that’s friends, sometimes a partner and I’m also happy just alone.

“Usually I would be the one to order because I’m in hospitality. People trust me when it comes to buying food.”

What item on your own menu would you advise hungover customers to order?

“The Meat Lovers pizza, because it’s not heavy, and it’s nutritious. The pizza dough is light. It’s not made with butter, it’s not made with oil, it’s not with sugar…it’s just simple pizza dough, which we rise for at least 48 hours.

When you’re hungover you need quality food to fill the stomach. It’s made with really good sausages, salami Napolitano, and bacon, and all of them are fresh, organic ingredients. 

It’s nothing like pizza when a big company makes it. When you eat it, it brings you back to normal…then, you could even eat a second one!

Of course, people could just order the deep fried pizza, which we cook in the oven before frying it in hot oil. It’s not [sensible], but it’s what I would *really* want, instead of salad and chicken.”