Eurostar Commodities is to ramp up its activity in the artisan pizza flour market with the appointment of a former Harrods pizza chef.

Davide D’Auria, most recently senior pizza chef at the luxury department store, has joined Yorkshire-based Eurostar as technical sales & development manager.

Eurostar, which supplies ingredients including chapatti, pasta and vegetable flours, described the appointment as “an exciting expansion of its innovation and development team”, adding that D’Auria would drive new product development.

“We want to better understand what is important to pizza-makers and provide them with the ingredients and inspiration to produce fantastic quality pizza and embrace the very latest trends from Italy,” said Eurostar managing director Philip Bull.

D’Auria will be responsible for the UK roll-out of new Eurostar pizza flours, made from beetroot, spinach and sweet potato.

He will also lead the launch of a range of flours from Grandi Molini Italiani, which are being distributed exclusively in the UK by Eurostar. The range comprises:

  • Pizza Verace, described as “extraordinarily digestible”, with a golden crust
  • Pizza Italiana, a type ‘00’ flour, described as fragrant and particularly good for deep-dish
  • Lievito Naturale, a natural yeast type ‘0’ malted wheat flour, to Increase extensibility
  • Pizza Dorata, produced with Manitoba grain and a mix of Canadian and North American grains to give an “extremely soft dough that firms up during fermentation”.

D’Auria, who is a graduate of the Pizza Italiani News School and has worked in restaurants in London and Italy, said Eurostar impressed him with its attitude to innovation and to the traditions of authentic artisan Italian pizza.

“I’m delighted to start work experimenting with flours and food matching,” he added. “There are big issues in the UK right now surrounding the development of healthy and natural pizza, and high-quality development in this area will be a big trend for 2018.”