The owner and founder of Steveston Pizza Co., which started in the historic Richmond community but also has outlets in Vancouver and South Surrey, has sold just one of his exotic creations to, not surprisingly, a very rich person.
But Hatami, a chef who has worked on cruise ships and at the Wedgewood Hotel, has sold seven of his next-most expensive creations for $120.
Both high-end pizzas have to be ordered a day in advance. The $450 pizza, dubbed C6, features thermidor of lobster and black Alaska cod, with a side of Russian Osetra caviar.
The C5, for $120, is made with roasted garlic, Icelandic scampi, smoked steelhead and lobster ratatouille.
I never thought Id sell so many, said Hatami.
The idea was to make a culinary statement, he said. I dont know if youve tried our pizza but each one is pretty unique.
And most of his creations are reasonably priced, starting at $14 for a regular-sized pizza from a category called The Usual (like pepperoni) and moving up to $20 for similarly sized items in cleverly-named categories like The Journeys (Mediterranean, with feta and olives) and Elements and More (Water, using shrimp, snow crab and basil pesto)
The C categories are all $28, except for the two most pricey pizzas.
Hatami said he tries to use as many organic products as possible and very good cheese.
But his creations go beyond being simply tasty.
As far as the taste goes, anybody can come up with the right amount of salt and pepper, he said. To me, good food is the one that feels good after eating it. You dont say, Oh, I need to take a nap or Oh, Im so stuffed.
Our body is so in harmony with it [good food]. The only way to achieve it is to ensure things are really fresh. Your body appreciates it. Your body recognizes it. To me, thats good food.
That standard will soon be available in the Philippines, where Hatami is opening a restaurant in Manila in September, followed by another in December.
A frequent customer who does business in the Philippines encouraged Hatami to expand.
He was always talking to me about how this product would do well in the Philippines, said Hatami, who returned last week from a trip to investigate the opportunities.
The trip went well.
Theyre very receptive, said Hatami.
And, hopefully, theyre hungry.
Hatamis pizza isnt that expensive comparied to other offerings.
A quick online search revealed that notorious chef Gordon Ramsay held the Guinness world record in 2005 for a pizza that he used to sell for 100 pounds sterling. But that was eclipsed in Malta by Margos Pizzeria, which sold a creation with white truffles and 24-carat gold leaf for about 1,800 pounds.
In 2008, TripAtlas.com said Italian Renato Viola offered a pizza for $12,000 US but that included a staff of three that would cook the pizza in your own home using mozzarella di bufala, three types of caviar and lobster. It is dusted with Australian salt from the Murray River that is hand-picked to ensure its flavour.
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