Base Face Pizza

Tim Thornton

Base Face Pizza started life as Zio Tim’s Pizzeria, a pop-up pizzeria on Tim’s driveway during the lockdown in May 2020, serving sourdough pizza from an original Ooni Pro to the local community to raise money for the NHS Charities. During 2020 over 4000 pizzas were served to the people of West London.

Moving off the driveway, Base Face Pizza started popping up at Vindinista Wine Bar in Acton, the Hogarth Club in Chiswick, Kansas Smitty’s Jazz Club and frequented West London’s weekend markets.

Dedicated to the perfection of a Neapolitan inspired style utilising long ferments and healthy grains, without the restrictions of tradition but with a deep respect for it underpinning each pizza that leaves the oven, Base Face Pizza is a Neo-Politan pizza for the discerning digester, with a focus on independent producers, high quality local ingredients, healthy grains and a joy for eating great food.

From Driveway Digs to a New Snazzy Pizzeria

It was just a little over a year ago and during the height of the pandemic (May Bank Holiday 2020 to be exact) that we first wrote about Tim Thornton in our newsletter. Inspired to help the local community and NHS, Tim decided to open up the smallest socially distanced pizza pop-up in Chiswick! Every Friday he made pre-ordered pizzas for his neighbourhood and sold them for the very reasonable price of a £5 donation to the NHS. 

Well, we are thrilled to announce that Tim has significantly upgraded from his driveway digs and is opening a snazzy new Pizzeria joint in Hammersmith, Base Face Pizza!

Base Face opened to the public on the 9th of June and the menu is drool-worthy! Think Colston Bassett Stilton, Cornish Kern and Maple syrup, Crispy Cured Cheek, Roast Pineapple  and Red Onion Jam, all on Pizza!

Scroll down for an interview with Tim, but more importantly, be sure to pop by Base Face and send Tim some socially distanced love!

It’s always great to see restaurants focusing on using as many local ingredients as possible. Can you tell us a little about how you chose your producers?
As we all know the planet is suffering, and for me there’s no need to fly ingredients in from Naples just because that’s where pizza originates from, when we make the same ingredients to an equal standard here! The reason Italian cuisine is so good is that it uses the freshest local ingredients, so I’m just using the same theory, and I love to support other small businesses trying to do good things in our communities.

Apart from great grub, I think we can all agree that one of the make or break aspects of a successful restaurant is the ambiance. You’ve spent the last ten years as one of the UK’s most sought out Jazz bassists, what can we expect tune-wise? Are there Jazz nights in Base-Face’s future?  
Definitely creating a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere has taken most of my brain space for the last few months. I have a carefully curated playlist on Spotify called Base Face Pizza which anyone can follow. I won’t be having live music in the restaurant though, as I have always felt enforcing performances on diners who just wanted to eat is detrimental to the musicians and audiences.

Opening a restaurant is impressive, but opening during a pandemic is even more so!  Did the pandemic affect your plans?
Not really, pizza is pretty pandemic proof because it’s such a popular takeaway option so I can always keep the business going with takeaway and delivery if the worst comes to the worst again!

We love that you got so active in your community during lockdown raising money for the NHS, and we love it even more that you did it with pizza! Can you tell us a little about the response to your pop-up pizzeria during lockdown from your neighbourhood? We bet your old-customers are thrilled that they will now be able to buy your pizza all year round? 
Generally I have loved interacting with and meeting all my neighbours. Many lovely people welcome new business so long as your motives are good and the quality of your products is high. 

Your menu has plenty of the pizza classics, but also some incredibly creative options – maple syrup on pizza, (we are in!). How did you come up with some of your more wild creations? What is your favourite so far, and was your lockdown pop-up a good testing-ground?

Yeah, it’s fun seeing what works and what doesn’t with my dough, some creations come to life better than others! Like most food I try to balance salt/sweet/acid/spice so for me the nduja/maple/stilton/tomato came from that.