Media release: Mamma’s pizza competition celebrates 25 successful years

MAMMA’S Pizza and Panzerotti is inviting diners to create the most innovative pizza topping in celebration of the popular restaurant’s 25 successful years in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket.

The winning three entrants will cook their pizzas in Mamma’s kitchen on Saturday 29 January in an exciting Pizza Cook-off, before a panel of expert judges decide on their favourite topping.

The chosen top topping will be used on a special pizza named after its creator and featuring on the Mamma’s menu throughout summer 2011.

The winner will also enjoy free pizza free for a year and a complimentary table for four at the Mamma’s 25th anniversary party on Tuesday 1 February.*

Originally opened in 1985 by two Canadian born actors, Angus MacInnes and Phil Craig, Mamma’s was taken over by the current owners, Paul and Caitriona Duncan in 2003.

Angus MacInnes, who is best known for playing the Gold Leader in the fourth Star Wars movie, is one of the competition judges.

Angus, who lives in the city centre, says: “I’m not surprised to see Mamma’s still going strong as it’s a vital part of the café culture in the Grassmarket, which feels to me like the real core of the city.

“We were the first restaurant to have outside seating 25 years ago, as well as introducing home delivery, and it’s great to see Mamma’s thriving while based on the same fundamental business ethos.”

Owner, Paul Duncan, says: “The competition is a great way to get customers old and new involved and to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary. We hope people will let their imaginations run wild and come up with some truly creative topping combinations.

“Perhaps the most bizarre request we have had was for a blue cheese, calamari and chocolate pizza – not to everyone’s taste but certainly innovative!”

As well as creating some unusual pizzas over the last 25 years, the restaurant delivers regular blue cheese pizzas to Simpson’s Maternity Hospital, as a favourite missed by the new mums while pregnant, and even delivered 40 pizzas to The Rolling Stones after a Murrayfield gig.

Competition entries, including the suggested toppings and name of the pizza, must be sent to by Friday 21 January. The favourites will then be invited to the Pizza Cook-off on Saturday 29 January so the entrants must be available to take part on that date.

There is no age limit and children are welcome to enter.  For further competition details visit:


Notes for editors

* Competition prize: free pizza for one year based on one, nine-inch pizza per week, every week of the year. Twenty-five per cent of every winning pizza sold will go to a local children’s charity.

Company history

Mamma’s was opened in 1985 by two Canada-born actors, Angus MacInnes, and Phil Craig. Angus MacInnes is best known for playing the Gold Leader in Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977). Other roles included: Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Hellboy (2004) and The Black Dahlia (2006). The business was first sold to the then floor managers in 1992 and re-sold to the then operations manager, Paul Duncan and his wife, Caitriona, in 2003.

Achievements / accolades

  • Best Independent Pizzeria UK Award 1999-2000 – Pizza and Pasta Association
  • One of the first pizzerias in the UK to serve gluten-free pizza, offer on-line ordering, deliver alcohol, and to serve delicious fillet steak and salmon baked ‘on the stone’

For further media information please visit: or contact:

Samantha McKay or Fiona Vernon at Niche Works on 0131 669 0333 or email: /

Menus, images, interviews and biographies on the owners are available on request.

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Contact: Samantha McKay Challen