A POPULAR pizza chain is going to be even more in demand after receiving a prestigious award.

Purezza, in Saint James’s Street, Brighton were emphatic winners at the World Pizza Championships this year held in Parma, Italy.

The competition sees 6,500 independent pizzerias from across the world.

Purezza was the UK’s first vegan pizzeria.

They are now the first vegan pizzeria to win an award at this international competition.

Purezza, which has restaurants in Brighton and London, took part in the “Pizza Classica” category in the competition.

The challenge was to create a traditional Italian style pizzas, baked with wood fired ovens and similar to those found in Naples.

Competitors had up to 12 minutes to prepare and cook their pizzas using pre-selected ingredients, before presenting it to the judges.

The judges then chose a small selection

Purezza’s entry was titled The Promised Land.

The head chef, Filippo Rosato, who cooked for the judges used a BrewDog Punk IPA-infused whole grain pizza dough.

It was topped with stir-fried cavolo nero, “Italian kale”, Italian-style marinated tempeh, deep-fried fermented soya beans, pioppini mushrooms, and a borlotti bean sauce.

It boasted two different cheeses; Purezza’s own signature vegan cheese, dubbed Mozzarella 2.0, similar to the traditional dairy mozzarella, but allergen-free and contains half the fat.

The second was a fermented cashew cheese with sun-dried cruschi peppers.

The pizza was finished with a garnish of ginger puree, agave syrup, and a vegan caviar.

Mr Rosato said “The Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza is the gold standard of awards for pizzerias and pizza chefs around the world.

“It’s the competition that every pizzaiolo aspires to compete in.

“To even be there as the first vegan pizzeria was an incredible experience, but to have come away with one of the awards for the Pizza Classica category is more than I could ever have hoped for, and shows that vegan pizza isn’t just possible, it’s the future.”

This award joins several others that Purezza won last year including the National Pizza of the Year in the UK, where Purezza beat 15 of the UK’s best pizzerias with their Parmigiana Party pizza.

They also won the PizzAward last year in Naples for the Best International Pizza.

Purezza has been operating in Brighton since November 2015, and opened a London branch in March last year.

The restaurant has become a household name among vegan and vegetarian foodies, with diners travelling from all over the world to eat there.

Purezza specialises in plant-based alternatives to classic Neapolitan pizzas.

The vegan pizzeria is renowned for developing its own range of vegan cheese exclusively for its restaurants.

It is currently in the process of opening a new vegan mozzarella factory.