Peter Boizot, founding father of the restaurant chain Pizza Categorical, has died at his residence in Peterborough aged 89.
Boizot opened the primary Pizza Categorical restaurant on Wardour Road in Soho, London, in 1965 and has been credited by many with revolutionising the informal eating expertise. The model now has greater than 500 eating places worldwide.
Boizot was born in Peterborough in 1929 and attended the King’s faculty within the metropolis earlier than finding out historical past at Cambridge College. After graduating he spent 10 years dwelling on the continent – instructing English in Paris, working for Nestlé’s publicity division in Switzerland, and within the information picture division of Related Press in Rome.
Returning to London he discovered it onerous to discover a good pizzeria. “They have been throughout France and Germany,” he later stated. “So I believed I’d give it a go.” He imported a pizza oven from Naples (which couldn’t match by the door, so required the wall to be eliminated), employed an aged Sicilian to knead the dough and opened the primary Pizza Categorical.
In 1977, Boizot created the Veneziana pizza to lift cash for the Venice in Peril charity, which works to guard the town towards rising sea ranges. 5 pence from every Veneziana bought was donated to the charity, later growing to 25p. The initiative has raised greater than £2m to this point.
He stood down as chairman when the corporate floated on the inventory market in 1993. In July 2014 the group was bought to the China-based non-public fairness agency Hony Capital for £900m, having opened its first outlet in Beijing two months earlier.
Boizot, a vegetarian since childhood, was an lively member of the Liberal occasion and stood as a parliamentary candidate in Peterborough within the normal elections of February and October 1974.
He was devoted to his residence city, continuously giving cash to native tasks. In 1993 he purchased and modernised the Nice Northern lodge, saying: “The Nice Northern was posh, it was the place the massive nobs all the time stayed. Proudly owning it was an actual feather in my cap.” In 1996 he did the identical with the town’s former Odeon cinema.
In 1997 he purchased Peterborough United soccer membership. “Peterborough United soccer membership are saddened to study of the passing of former proprietor and chairman Peter Boizot on the age of 89,” the membership stated in a press release.
“The Pizza Categorical founder was a serious a part of the success within the late 1990s/early 2000s when Posh secured promotion at Wembley in 2000. Everyone on the soccer membership want to categorical our condolences and deepest sympathies to the household at this very unhappy time.”
A spokesman for Pizza Categorical stated: “It’s with nice unhappiness that we share the information that Peter Boizot handed away on 5 December 2018. In his 89 years, this exceptional entrepreneur achieved an astonishing quantity, not simply inside the eating trade, however throughout music, sport, and charity as effectively.
“He launched a culinary revolution with the primary Pizza Categorical in 1965, introducing scrumptious pizza and informal eating to the UK, impressed by his travels in Italy. His philanthropic work was famend, elevating £2m for the Venice in Peril fund and he impressed the corporate to proceed this charitable mission.
“Peter’s spirit, imaginative and prescient and his ardour for good meals and good instances, will stay on and we’ll proceed to hold ahead his legacy by the individuals and tradition of our enterprise. We are going to all miss him dearly. Our ideas are together with his family and friends right now.”