NAPIER’S PIZZA GUY BOWLS AUSSIES OVER
The all-conquering Aussie cricketers finally met their match when they were bowled over by an express delivery from Napier’s Pizza Guy.
The Australian team hungrily tucked into Napier’s unique wood-fired French pizzas at McLean Park on Saturday, served up by the “Pizza Guy” – Stefan Schmith of Taradale.
The final one-day-international turned out to be a day to remember for official match day caterer Stefan when he unwittingly gave Aussie star Matthew Hayden his marching orders.
“This guy sneaked in the back and asked if he could have some pizza,” explained Stefan. “I said, ‘Yes sure, but you’re not allowed back here, out you go’. As I served him, we got talking and I said ‘Oh, by the way, my name’s Stefan’. Then he said, ‘Hi, I’m Matt Hayden’.”
After the match, Stefan gave Matthew Hayden a demonstration of how his mobile pizza oven works. He imported the German-built catering unit two years ago and has since built up a growing reputation as the “Pizza Guy” at big events around Hawke’s Bay and across New Zealand.
The Aussie opener then tried his hand as a chef and knocked up half a dozen pizzas for his team-mates. Stefan then cooked up some more and delivered them to the hungry players in the Aussie changing room.
Black cap skipper Stephen Fleming and star colleagues such as Chris Cairns had gone over to the Aussie camp to offer their congratulations and soon started tucking in when they smelt the pizza.
Stefan is originally from Germany where he worked as a master baker. He has lived in Napier for five years, loves watching the All Blacks but still struggles with the rules of cricket.
“It was unbelievable,” said Stefan. “I was there with all these big stars tucking into my pizza. But I had to say to them, ‘Look, I’m sorry but I don’t really know who you are!’ But I had a beer with them and they loved the pizza. They were amazed how fast I could make them. Even Brett Lee was astonished at the speed of my delivery! The Aussies told me I should follow them around on tour. I gave them all my business card so who knows!”