I first e-met Seth Mazow via the blog he was writing for Home Slice Pizza in Austin, Texas, as part of a crazy contest in which he won a year of free pizza. In that time he's given Slice numerous bits of intel. When he moved to San Francisco recently, he signed on as a Slice contributor there. Let's get him in the hot seat. AK

20110201-obsessives-mazow-500.jpg

[Photograph: Peter Tsai]

Name: Seth Mazow
Location: San Francisco
URL: yearofthepizza.com

What type of pizza do you prefer?

New York–style or deep-dish.

What's your favorite topping or topping combination?

Anchovies! [See last week's poll. —AK] Not only do I love their pungency but I find they allow the primary pizza flavors (cheese, crust, sauce) to act as mild, moderating influences. Unfortunately, they also have a moderating influence on "relations" with my wife, as she's not to keen on the effect they have on my breath.

Where do you go for pizza in your area?

Little Star for deep dish, Zante's for "Indian pizza," and I have no clear fave for New York–style (yet). But if I were within 150 miles of Austin, I'd go to Home Slice immediately.

The Pizza Cognition Theory states that "the first slice of pizza a child sees and tastes ... becomes, for him, pizza." Do you remember your first slice? Where was it from, is the place still around, and if so, does it hold up? On that note, has your taste in pizza evolved over time?

I don't remember my first piece, but I'm sure it came from one of the big chains or a Chuck E. Cheese in Dallas, where I grew up. Seeing as I can't remember it, the pizza was literally forgettable.

While I've always liked pizza, my love grew for pizza after I won Home Slice Pizza's Hands on an Eggplant Sub (HOES) in Austin, Texas. I had to stand with my hand on the sandwich and outlast other competitors to win the prize of free pizza for a year. I won back-to-back contests, the second with my then-girlfriend-now-wife taking her hand off so I could win.

Do you make pizza at home? If so, how? What recipes do you use?

Sadly, no.

Um, you should start. May I suggest this recipe? ... Um, so, what one thing should NEVER go on a pizza?

Mayo?

Yeah, even in my more liberal definition of pizza these days, I don't know if I could go there, either. ... Speaking of which, what's the most unusual pizza you've ever eaten?

Zante's Indian pizza must take the cake. Instead of a tomato-based sauce, they use some sort of curry sauce, and instead of traditional toppings, they use Indian fare, like cauliflower, tandoori chicken, etc.

Yeah, Zante's comes highly recommended. Maybe you should review? So ... What's the farthest you've traveled for pizza?

San Francisco to Oakland, about 45 minutes door to door. Although when I moved from Austin to San Francisco, I had a slice of my last Home Slice Pizza at each stop along the way, dragging it out over six days. So if you count that, I traveled 1,500 or so miles, although the goal was not just to eat pizza.

Anything you'd like to get off your chest?

I think pizza is the perfect food. It contains elements of all the food groups (vegetables, dairy, grain, protein); can be eaten in upscale or low-brow environments; on the run or during a nice meal; accompanied by beer, wine, water, or soda; hot or cold.

Now: Who would you like to see interviewed next?

Lauren Shugart, the winner of this year's HOES contest at Home Slice, who stood for 64 hours to win free pizza for a year. She must really passionate about pizza.

Her, or Pizza Girl. She's been on all sides of the pizza trade (delivery girl, cook, consumer).

Hmmm. Will look into bugging Lauren, Seth. Thanks for the rec. You came to our attention via the HOES contest, so maybe she'll be a great new contact as well. And as for Pizza Girl, good recommendation. I thought we had put her in the hot seat already, but looking at the Slice archives, it seems we haven't yet. Thanks for playing along and being a good sport! Hasta la pizza.

If you know someone who we should interview for Pizza Obsessives, nominate him or her! Email pizza@seriouseats.com.

Comments

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: