Gourmet pizza on the menu at new Italian restaurant
Teresa Terminiello was celebrating more than just the football that weekend, so pleased was she to welcome customers into her new restaurant to watch the match.
From Sorrento, Italy, Teresa and her family have been in Peterborough for three years, having taken over The DeliChef from its previous owner.
And it’s been three busy years for the caterers – they increased business, catered events and birthdays, opened a small café and even added another van to their fleet.
But, like so many other businesses across the city, The DeliChef hadn’t planned for a pandemic.
Teresa said: “We were running a small café, catering events and birthdays, working really hard. But just when it seemed so high, the pandemic hit. So we needed to ask ourselves how we were going to survive.
“Takeaways were our saving grace, truly. We were able to make and deliver food and keep going.
“And that made us think – what do we want to see, what do we want to do and create? And the answer was a good, traditional Italian restaurant.”
The plan to open a premises fell into place in May and the first thing Teresa did was order an authentic pizza oven from Naples.
She said: “We purchased an authentic Italian oven and had it shipped over – that was a challenge. Some companies didn’t want to get involved in importing it.
“It’s huge, but the pizzas taste great.”
The restaurant has been open for business for about a month now.
“We opened the day before the Euro final, which was a good result for us both on and off the pitch,” Theresa said.
“People wanted to book with us to come and watch it, so we had a full house and a big screen and the weather was good enough for us to sit outdoors.
“This is our first restaurant and it’s so exciting. I didn’t expect to be so busy so quickly, so it really is learning on the job, but people are seeing how our passion translates into good food and service and quality.
“Most of our customers are Italian, I think it is hearing about us from others that is driving the customers to us, but I love it.”
Although the venue is a little outside of the city centre, in Fengate, Teresa likes the location. It’s small – customers are advised to book before coming to ensure they’ll get a table – and cosy and there’s free parking.
The past 18 months haven’t been what she expected, both professionally and personally. Her family has had to stay in Peterborough because the borders to Italy were closed, many events which needed catering were cancelled and, of course, the family had to home-school like so many others – but the business is in a good place.
“Opening the restaurant, we’re actually now doing better overall than before the pandemic and for that I’m grateful," says Teresa. "I’m taking the positives."