Alan Goulding is a Cork food hero, a guy who enjoys the respect of his professional peers, those hyper-critical chefs and cooks who recognise the studied excellence of Mr Goulding’s work. When Mr Goulding first opened in Paradise Place, almost two decades ago, he brought an entirely new sensibility and authenticity to the art of pizza. If Fast Al’s was a pizza place in New York, then Pete Wells and Sam Sifton of The New York Times would be extolling the myriad virtues of these superb pizzas, and ranking them right up there with Paulie Gee’s and Mama’s Too. But Mr Goulding’s three shops are in Cork city, a town where the locals simply take the excellence of his work for granted. So, it needs to be said that the pizza by the slice that you can buy in Paradise Place, Oliver Plunkett Street and at Pembroke Street reveal the true art of the pizzaiolo, an art founded on respect for ingredients and split-second skills with the pizza oven. Fast Al’s has made Cork city a better place, and Mr Goulding is a true Leeside legend.