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Interview with Executive Chef Mario Mastrangelo of Happy Face Pizza
INTERVIEWS

Interview with Executive Chef Mario Mastrangelo of Happy Face Pizza

This week we caught up with Executive Chef Mario Mastrangelo of Happy Face Pizza to talk about his journey in becoming a chef, why he loves working at Happy Face Pizza and why Massimo Bottura is one of his all-time heroes.

Where did your love for making pizza come from? And can you tell us about your journey in becoming a chef?


I was born in Salerno – a town just outside Naples in Southern Italy – and from a young age, I was really interested in food and cooking. When I was 14, I started working in local pizzerias, before heading to Venice to study at the acclaimed Accademia Pizzaioli where I became a Master of Pizza Training.

I moved to the UK in 2013 and then spent a year at the famous PizzAperta Manfredi in Sydney. I returned to London as Head Chef at Radio Alice and after a short stint at Piccolino, joined the team at Happy Face Pizza as Executive Chef, where I play a key role in menu development and chef training.


When did you join Happy Face Pizza and what makes the pizza exceptional there?


I really loved the team – the founders Dom and Paul had a fantastic vision for the brand – a fresh take on a classic offer – and the menu remains totally authentic – a real love letter to Italian food.


It’s great to see Happy Face Pizza expanding with a few new openings in the pipeline, can you tell us some more?


Our ambition is to grow the business across the UK and even further. We’ve just opened in Eccleston Yards by Victoria station and it felt like the perfect place for our second location. Next month we’re opening near Brent Cross and we’d like to open another couple of restaurants this year, which is exciting

Do you have any culinary heroes?

Massimo Bottura is definitely one of my all-time heroes. He’s an Italian restaurateur and chef-patron of Osteria Francescana, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Moderna. When he opened his first restaurant he received really bad reviews from the critics, but by believing in what he was doing he became one of the world’s best chefs and his restaurant has been in the top 5 in the world for the last decade.

What advice would you give someone who is training to be a chef?

Being a chef is not a job but a lifestyle choice. Work hard, enjoy working under pressure, be curious and love food.

If you had a free day in London to do what you want, where would you go?

Definitely a food-based experience around different types of cuisines in the city.

For more information on Happy Face Pizza visit: https://happyface.pizza

Photography by Nyla Sammons

#ChefMarioMastrangelo #happyfacepizza #pizza

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