Beccles pizzeria scoops national award for Italian restaurants

The Oak Fired staff smile for a team photo with their national award.

The Oak Fired staff smile for a team photo with their national award. - Credit: Paul Jackson

A town's pizzeria has scooped a national award celebrating Italian restaurants. 

Oak Fired at the Royal Oak, in Beccles, won the best team award voted for by mystery shoppers in the National Italian Awards for England in 2022.

The award recognised the whole team and their delivery of authenticity and true Neapolitan pizza in it's traditional fashion.

Restaurant owner Paul Jackson said: "We are delighted.

"All of our hard work has paid off - we worked very hard to build a good team here and this national recognition is testament to that.

"National recognition fills me with great pride. It is excellent for the town also since we have customers travelling from all over to try the food we serve at Oak Fired.

"It was always my goal upon launching a restaurant to form an established reputation, national recognition shows that we are doing the right things, and is a destination which people want to visit and make efforts to do so," he said.

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The Oak Fired, on Ravensmere, also finished runner up in two other national nominations, the 'Best Pizzeria' and 'Best Italian Business'.

Staff were invited to collect their award at a gala dinner at the Manchester Hilton Hotel on Sunday July 3.

Restaurant supervisor Luke Harvey (left) restaurant owner Paul Jackson (right) smile with prize at the  in Manchester.

Restaurant supervisor Luke Harvey (left) restaurant owner Paul Jackson (right) smile with prize at the in Manchester. - Credit: Paul Jackson

As part of their prize they were also invited to compete in a fresh pasta competition, which was judged by celebrity chef Aldo Zilli.

Chef Sam Eliott (Left) stood with Oak Fired owner, Paul Jackson (centre), pose for photo with celebrity chef Aldo Zilli.

Chef Sam Eliott (Left) stood with Oak Fired owner, Paul Jackson (centre), pose for photo with celebrity chef Aldo Zilli. - Credit: Paul Jackson

Mr Jackson said: "What we won our award for was our delivery of authentic Neapolitan pizza, and it is our pizzas which have gained us our reputation.

"So it was flattering to have been invited to participate strongly in the fresh pasta competition though it not being our forte."

In 2018, the Ravensmere restaurant earned a slice of international accreditation from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) in Naples allowing it to legally claim to serve 'real Neapolitan pizza'.

At the time it was only the third restaurant in the UK to earn the mark, with the others in Kent and Newcastle.

The accolade came just a year after opening their doors in the former pub.