Happy As Larry: The Food Truck Keeping the Good Vibes Flowing
Food trucks burst onto the scene a few years ago, but Happy as Larry is one that’s changing the game. The brainchild of three Aussie friends, Chris Lu, Adam Choker and Anthony Severino, the truck specialises in traditional Neapolitan woodfired pizza. And it’s the real deal – the food truck’s shining star is a 2.2-tonne, hand built, woodfired oven imported from Naples itself.
Happy as Larry is more than a pop-up pizzeria: it’s a travelling pizza party. With its bright décor, the smell of freshly baked dough wafting through the air, and an on-site DJ pumping music, the trio has people all over Sydney tuned in for updates on the next location.
Head chef Anthony Severino spent over a year in Italy studying the art of pizza making, so if anyone knows how to make an authentic pizza, it’s him. The food truck’s menu is seasonal, and uses fresh, local produce to complement the flour and tomatoes that arrive from Italy. Along with classics like mushroom and margherita, the team dishes up a lobster and a (heavenly) lasagna pizza. There’s a Nutella calzone for those smart enough to save room for dessert, as well as a bunch of milkshakes – the Lychee & Mint is a winner.
We caught up with Anthony in the midst of an exciting summer to talk about what it takes to run a successful food truck in Sydney, and what’s coming up next.
Q&A with Anthony
What inspired you to open Happy as Larry, and why did you opt for a food truck format?
Happy as Larry was originally supposed to be a bar in Darlinghurst. When the lease fell through, we saw these food truck licenses and thought it could be something to do until we found a new site.
As head chef and co-owner, what does your day-to-day role involve?
Being a small business, as owner-operators, we are involved in every aspect of running the business.
What do you think sets Happy as Larry apart from other food trucks?
I think one major difference is that most other food trucks prepare things you can prepare yourself at home. In comparison, the only way to get pizza like ours is if you have a woodfire oven that reaches 500 degrees Celsius at home. Most people don’t, so they come to us!
Your menu is fresh and seasonal – what kind of pizzas and ingredients have been featuring heavily this summer?
We’ve been bringing back some of our best hits like the lasagne, mixed mushroom and lobster pizzas.
Which pizza is your all-time favourite?
The mixed mushroom.
And your number one dish in general? You no doubt would have tried some amazing food during your time in Italy.
I love simple dishes, like fresh seafood done over charcoal and dressed with a bit of lemon and olive oil.
Are there any exciting plans to expand in the future?
Yes – there’ll be a Happy as Larry shop opening in the Sydney CBD in the early part of this year.
Where are your top spots in Sydney to eat, drink, shop and play?
My favourite place to eat is at home on a Sunday with my family (we love BBQs). I like to grab a drink at The Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst, swim at Cronulla Beach and shop at Pino’s Dolce Vita Fine Foods in Kogarah.