A Slice of Change: PizzaExpress’ Regional Director Talks Soul & Sustainability

4 mins

Marking a first for PizzaExpress Live outside the UK, the newly revamped restaurant in JLT welcomes guests to enjoy Italian cuisine accompanied by live performances from world-class musicians

Jazz@PizzaExpress, a Dubai institution for long-time UAE residents, has recently undergone an exciting transformation into PizzaExpress Live. Located in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, the newly revamped venue now boasts a chic street-style while maintaining a warm atmosphere for diners.

For it’s opening night, UK pop singer Pixie Lott graced the stage with her sultry tones and upbeat performance. An accomplished singer-songwriter, actress, and former ballet dancer, Pixie rose to fame with her debut album, ‘Turn It Up,’ which peaked at number six on the UK Albums Chart and sold over 1.5 million copies. The album featured six top-twenty singles on the UK Singles Chart, including the chart-topping hits ‘Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)’ and ‘Boys and Girls.’

In this exclusive Q&A, we sit down with the Regional Director Prashanth Menon to discuss the inspiration behind the renovation, the venue’s continued dedication to top-notch entertainment, and the brand’s sustainability goals.

TE: What was the main inspiration behind the decision to revamp the JLT restaurant and turn it into PizzaExpress Live?

The decision to revamp and rebrand our JLT restaurant into PizzaExpress Live was inspired by our desire to create a vibrant space where food, music and community come together. We wanted to offer our guests more than just a dining experience but also an opportunity to enjoy live music performances in a cozy and inviting atmosphere, bringing the ambiance of the UK to Dubai.

What kind of live music events can guests expect at PizzaExpress Live in JLT?

At PizzaExpress Live in JLT, guests can expect an eclectic mix of live music events ranging from acoustic sessions and jazz nights to energetic live bands. We aim to provide a diverse lineup that caters to various musical tastes, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

PizzaExpress Live sign next to door and red carpet
Are there any specific changes to the menu guests can look forward to as part of the revamp, beyond the beloved pizza and doughballs?

While our beloved pizzas and doughballs remain the heart of our menu, guests can look forward to exciting additions and enhancements. We’re introducing new appetisers, salads, pasta dishes, and desserts to complement our signature offerings, ensuring there’s a delicious option for every palate. Furthermore, for a limited time only we have introduced our Grand Classic base. A bigger, thicker base with double the amount of cheese!

How does the brand ensure that vegan options are as appealing as other menu items?

We take great pride in ensuring that our vegan options are just as delicious as their traditional counterparts. Our culinary team meticulously crafts each vegan dish using high-quality ingredients and innovative techniques to create flavours that stand out.

Interior of PizzaExpress
Are there any plans to introduce more local, organic ingredients in your dishes?

We already use local suppliers for 90 per cent of our core ingredients including our famous dough which is sourced right here in the UAE. We are constantly exploring ways to incorporate even more local and organic ingredients into our dishes, reflecting our commitment to freshness and sustainability.

Could you elaborate on the company’s commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing practices?

At PizzaExpress, sustainability and ethical sourcing are at the core of everything we do. We are committed to responsibly sourcing our ingredients, minimising waste, and reducing our environmental footprint. From partnering with suppliers who share our values to implementing eco-friendly practices in our operations, we are continuously striving to make a positive impact on the planet.

PizzaExpress Live, Cluster A, JLT, April 27 from 7.30pm,  @pizzaexpresslivejlt

Recipe: Vegan Margherita Pizza


  • Pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Vegan mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Oregano and pepper to taste
Margherota pizza


  • Preheat your oven to the highest temperature setting.
  • Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface to your desired thickness.
  • Spread a generous layer of tomato sauce over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges.
  • Grate the vegan mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, then drizzle with a little olive oil.
  • Transfer the pizza to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil leaves before serving.
  • Slice and enjoy your delicious Vegan Margherita Pizza!
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