Monday, April 15, 2024

MONDAY MAN: Best pizza ‘on the block’


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KENVILLE CADDLE is a Bajan but his pizzas are so tasty, they could quite possibly have been baked in any of the finest pizzerias in Italy.

Though his signature is vegetarian, the meat pizzas are nothing short of fantastic too.

Caddle has been serving up slices from his Nurse Land, Tweedside Road, St Michael base for nigh on two decades. Since he already has a full-time job, this “weekend warrior” only operates on Saturdays. It is not a unique sight to see long queues every weekend since people believe his pizzas are definitely worth the wait.

When he left the former Roebuck Secondary School, Caddle’s life could have gone in a totally different direction. That’s because upon graduation, he enrolled at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic where he studied mechanics for two years. But cooking was calling his name, as it did several of his siblings as well as his mother who once operated a snackette and now runs a successful catering business. He chose to answer the call, and since the age of 16, Caddle’s home has been in front of an oven.

kenville-caddle-041116He started baking the pies as an employee at the then Barbados Pizza House in Holetown in the 1980s. He spent almost a decade there before the business went into receivership and closed. After that, the now 44-year-old went to another popular pizza joint, Pizzaz, where he spent another few years before deciding to move on.

“After leaving Pizzaz, I was home for a bit until I start to tell myself that I got skills, ‘I can make good pizza, let me do something to employ myself’. At that time I used to make submarines and bake my own bread, so I started with the pizzas and it became popular, so it just went off from there,” he recounted.

At the same time Caddle started his pizza business, he also began a full-time job in the food industry, but because of the popularity of the pies, he chose to continue but on a limited basis. That was 18 years ago and he hasn’t stopped since.

Caddle said he did not just make his dough from scratch and with fresh ingredients every week, but makes every effort to maintain high food safety standards when preparing his product.

For a passionate pizza man, that’s what it is all about – the quality of the ingredients and the preparation process.

“Food safety is very important in this business and you will not last very long if customers or potential customers don’t feel that your product can be trusted. I feel your standard of food should always be high and that is what I strive for, because it [is] very easy to get food poisoning.

“So personal hygiene and keeping clean surroundings is very important for preventing it. Handwashing, maintaining general cleanliness and being aware of the dangers of cross contamination between raw and cooked meats are some of the most important factors. Luckily, no one has ever been sick because of my pizzas; I guess that is because you get fresh pizza.”

The heat of the oven might be a bit much but not for Caddle.

“Cooking is my thing so the heat ain’t no problem,” he said.

“Coming along and watching my mum in the kitchen was lot of fun for me and my brothers and sisters. I figured that is why so many of us in it now. Even if my mother need help with a catering job, I don’t have any problems at all jumping in.

“It’s a lot of work but I love hearing the reaction of the customers. Everyone loves to eat my pizzas. Even when I used to work at Pizza House and share it with my friends, people couldn’t believe I made them. That same look I see on people’s faces when they eat my pizza is why I continue with it after so long.”

As for Caddle’s pizza enterprise he isn’t sure he intends to go full-fledged anytime soon. At this time, for him it is just about maintaining a good quality product and loving every moment of the process. (SDB Media)


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