At home with… Charlie Hoyek

The Inner West community got behind Manoosh pizzeria in Enmore recently, voting them the best take away restaurant in Australia as part of the Menulog 2014 Tasty Takeaway Awards.

Here owner, Charlie Hoyek, chats to Ciao about his win…

How does it feel to be named Menulog’s Most Popular Takeaway Restaurant?
Winning the Menulog Tasty Takeaway Award for the second time in three years is really uplifting for my staff and I. It makes us appreciate all of our loyal customers. We feel that by becoming number one in Australia, we can achieve more than we ever thought we could. It has boosted our confidence for the future. What makes us popular in the market, in my opinion, is having more variety on our menu than your typical pizza restaurant. We serve traditional pizzas, specialty wraps, Lebanese style pizzas, sides and desserts.

What is the most popular thing on your menu?
Our famous chicken wrap. It is a very unique wrap that has everyone coming back for more.

How long have you been in the food industry?
I have been in the food industry since opening Manoosh pizzeria six and a half years ago. I learned and mastered the trade from my parents who owned one of the first Lebanese bakeries in Sydney, 35 years ago. My parents worked hard raising five children and owning a busy business but it all pays off in the end.

What four ingredients are always on hand in your kitchen?
Our four main ingredients are the dough, pizza sauce, Za’atar spices and cheese. We use freshly cut ingredients daily and we are constantly turning over ingredients, which equals to the freshest food and least wastage.

What kitchen utensil can’t you live without?
We can’t live without our handheld pizza peel. A pizza peel is a shovel-like tool used to lift our fresh pizzas out of the oven. It is so important in the business that we cannot operate without. Imagine pizzas and wraps constantly coming out of the ovens with no pizza peel? We have about five backups just in case.

• Manoosh Pizzeria: 170 Enmore Rd, Enmore



How to eat Za’atar

Growing up we used to eat Za’atar daily for breakfast and sometimes even for lunch. We now serve it for dinner and everyone loves it. You can buy the herb and seed mixture from local Lebanese supermarkets and/or bakeries.

Just mix it with olive oil and use it as spread on Lebanese bread with either cheese or labne (strained cheese yoghurt), and fresh vegetables on the side. Very simple, but very tasty.

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