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Customer of the Month: Mickey Szlachta

Happy New Year!  

We hope it was filled with joy and time well-spent with family and friends. Here at Authentic Pizza Ovens, we're super excited to be sharing our interview and Customer of the Month for January: Michael Szlachta. Michael or Mickey, is a self-confessed pizza-lover who has kept the tradition of "Pizza Fridays" alive from his childhood up until now that he's got his own family.

Check out as he tells us about his pizza-making journey, his own Authentic Pizza Oven, and his best-loved recipes that you can try any time.

Can you tell us about yourself?

My name is Mickey Szlachta and I am from Pittsburgh PA. I grew up just outside of Philadelphia and have enjoyed 'Pizza Fridays' with my family ever since I was a young kid. It is a tradition I have continued and will continue to do with my wife and kids as long as I live. 

What is there not to like about pizza? You can add any toppings and have a completely different experience each time. You can eat it fresh out of the oven or even cold the next day. And let me tell you, it tastes even better when you make it yourself. At least I think so :)

I first was interested in making pizza from scratch when my parents got their brick oven about 10 years ago. That's when I got hooked and told myself I will be doing this myself one day. Well, that day came in February 2021 when my Maximus Prime Arena showed up. When the delivery guy showed up on a cold February morning, I asked him, "What am I going to do with a pizza oven in the middle of winter?" He replied, "make pizza." That's all it took and I never looked back. Any day, any time, I am game to make some pies. 


Why did you choose an Authentic Pizza Oven?

I wanted a wood-fired oven because the taste and smell are second to none. It beats gas or propane ovens every time. I specifically chose the Maximus Prime Oven because it's large enough to cook anything! You can cook 2-3 pizzas at a time.

When having a BYOT (Bring Your Own Toppings) Party, you can make all of your guest's pizza at the same time so everyone can eat together. Another reason why I chose this oven, is the fact that it is portable. Not portable in the fact that I am going to take this tailgating every weekend, but if I wanted to move houses or move it around on my patio, I now have the capability to do it without any major help. Plus- it just looks awesome!

A little bit about my oven setup...

It has always been outside, in the open, without a roof over it. Whenever it is not in use, I use the cover that I purchased with the oven. It has survived all the elements, including a harsh Pittsburgh winter, rain, and severe winds.

I assure you, this oven is built to last. It sits on a stand I built myself. I have storage underneath for extra wood (logs and kindling) and my ash bucket. To load my pizzas, I use a wooden peel and recently got a perforated aluminum peel that I can't wait to try out. I use a small round peel to turn and remove the pizza. I highly recommend using the round silver pizza serving trays when having parties because it just adds to the authentic experience.  

Check out our pizza oven accessory starter pack here.

Follow Mickey at @between.2.fires



Deliciousness from Mickey


Classic Margarita Pizza

Simple! Your favorite red sauce, fresh mozzarella and of course FRESH basil.


Spicy Arugula

Your favorite red sauce and shredded Mozzarella.

After your pizza is finished cooking, add arugula and Mike's Hot Honey or your fav spicy sauce


Classic Calzone

A folded pizza that you can stuff with cheese, vegetables, meat, other goodness and sauce.


Vegetarian Pie

Topped with your favorite greens, herbs, and white sauce for a healthy and delicious meal.

For more exciting recipes, follow the Authentic Pizza Ovens blog.


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