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New Bothwell eatery competes for pizza glory

By: Geralyn Wichers

Posted: 06/9/2018 10:45 AM

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The Totally Twisted pizza is one of three entries New B’s Cafe store owner Elle Funk created for Manitoba Pizza Week.

GERALYN WICHERS | THE CARILLON Enlarge Image

The Totally Twisted pizza is one of three entries New B’s Cafe store owner Elle Funk created for Manitoba Pizza Week.

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A little New Bothwell restaurant is competing against the big guns in the first ever Manitoba Pizza Week.

New B’s Cafe, which runs out of the back of a convenience store, is up against the likes of Prairie 360 (also known as the revolving restaurant) and other Winnipeg giants, but owner Elle Funk isn’t daunted.

"I feel like we can compete," Funk said. "It’s just a matter of trying to get the people out here. I feel like my food is at the right calibre."

Kevin Burgin, host of food show The Main Ingredient on CJOB 680, created Manitoba Pizza Week along with staff at takeout service Skip the Dishes, "to celebrate one of the oldest, and most loved dishes in the world with a Manitoba spin, all while raising funds for a local Manitoba charity that supports children globally."

In the event, which runs until Sunday, pizzerias around the province create specialty pies and customers vote online to choose the best in each category. Raised funds go to the K.I.D.S. Initiative.

Funk already has a history of culinary creativity. Case in point, the "Death Star" pizza she debuted on May 4 (a day claimed by Star Wars fans). To get ready for Pizza Week, Funk and her kitchen crew brainstormed and tested pizza combos on friends until they hit perfection.

In the "Best Bothwell Cheese Pizza" category, New B’s offers the Totally Twisted pizza. It’s a sea of cheese and flavourful nuggets. Each bite is a little different.

It’s a take on a burger and fries pizza, but "I didn’t want to copy everybody else’s version of it," said Funk.

She piled on curly fries, seasoned beef, pickle fries, jalapeno poppers and chipotle sauce.

"I know it’s weird and wonky but when you try it it’s like, ‘This works,’" she added.

They also offer the "Meat Haters’ Haven" and "Taco-me Away" pizzas.

Funk is new to the restaurant game. Four years ago she was working in the office of an autobody shop and looking for a change. She had no culinary background, just a lot of creativity and a supportive family.

After she won "best burger" in The Carillon’s 2017 Reader’s Choice Survey, Funk realized she might be on to something. "Really? People love it that much?" she wondered.

Funk said she’s seen a slow but steady uptick in customers, first in the New Bothwell area, and now from Niverville and the outskirts of Winnipeg.

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