My Pizza Oven: Leyway, Making Pizza in Paradise

My Pizza Oven

Q&A about home pizza ovens.

I discovered today's MPO subject via the My Pie Monday feature when she submitted a photo of her Margherita pizza. She was kind enough to put herself in the hot seat for us. And, wow. Turns out she's from Cebu, Philippines. Talk about pizza in paradise. The Mgmt.


The oven mouth cover, which Leyway painted herself. [Photographs: Leyway]

Name: leyway
Location: Cebu, Philippines

Wait! Holy crap. You're from Cebu, Philippines?!? That's like a freakin' paradise. Can we all have your life? ... OK ... First question ... when did you put your oven in? Did you build it yourself or have someone build it?

My dad got it for me, he supervised the work, of course. He had two guys working on it. My dad is a contractor, so he knows his stuff.

Leah S.'s Wood-Fired Margherita Pizza

Nice. I hope you make pizzas for him. ;) How often do you use it?

We do have a pizzeria, which I own, so it's used every day. I get my wood from a friend from college so it works out I guess. I used to make the pizza every day, every night by myself all the time. But as of the moment, it's run by a different management since I went to trade school to learn more about bread and yeast. I always strive to be the better version of myself, and I knew that a lot of the pizza masters, like Anthony Mangieri, were bakers first—so I always knew that I just had to leave it for all the right reasons.

Oh, wow. I didn't realize you were running a pizzeria out of that oven! Cool. I guess you're basically our first pro MPO interviewee. ... So, I'm wondering, then ... do you cook anything besides pizza in it?

No. I haven't tried, though. I wanna cook bread in it, but I don't usually have the luxury of time on my hands.

What style of pizza do you normally do?

I strive to make a good Neapolitan pie.

What's your favorite topping or topping combination to make?

When I first started making pizza, my favorite was a Margherita with sausage and bacon. It was awesome. Then as I kept learning about dough and yeast (before trade school), I liked a Margherita with plain sausage. Now it's just a plain Margherita. When you know how to rock a pizza and make it taste so good with just a few ingredients I guess that's when you know you're on the right track.

Do you cook for friends/neighbors?

Yeah, I always invited friends. I always wanted feedback and wanted to know what they had to say about it.

What does your family think of your pizza madness?

They already know I'm crazy. They have learned to accept that.

Where do you go for pizza in your area (when you're not making your own)?

Where I come from there's not a lot of good pizza. So I usually make it by myself or Pizza Hut. But I try not to go to Pizza Hut as much as possible. Haha....

I probably don't even have to ask, but it's now standard ... what's most important to you: crust, sauce, or cheese?

Crust fo sho! I think its a really difficult thing to master, and the thing about it is that you never really get it right all the time, since there's so many variables you cannot control. Making a great dough/crust to me is like making great wine. Its such a fine art that takes alot of time and love to master.

What one thing should NEVER go on a pizza?

Oreo. Snickers. Anything that should be on should NEVER, EVER be on a pizza.. EVER.

Weirdest pizza you've ever eaten?

I dont know. I don't think they were weird. I always ordered a Margherita or anything that didn't have the kitchen sink for a topping.

What's the farthest you've traveled for pizza?

I don't know about farthest, but before I opened a pizzeria, I went and ate at every pizzeria this city has to offer. My conclusion is that... it's NOT GOOD.

LOL. Isn't it in your best interest to say that? ;) ... OK, last ... anything you'd like to get off your chest?

I really hope this country gets better pizzerias. Not a lot of good choices here. It's 2010. It's about time! Well, I guess, if anyone needs help with anything with dough or questions about pizza, I'll try my best to help anyone with absolutely anything. If you're in the same city as I live in, hit me up and I'll make you a pie with love.

Thanks for playing, leyway!

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