The business: Pizza Daux
What they're packin': Pizzas cooked to perfection in a wood fired oven. Owner and chef Dan Medlen used his experience as a pastry chef to develop and perfect several type of pizza doughs including a sourdough base.
What you need to know: Dan Medlen and his custom wood fired oven turn out fresh pizzas every four minutes. Dan uses mesquite in his oven, imparting a smoky flavor to the dough. He has a rotating menu but you can expect to see a mix: classics like pepperoni and his own creations like pigs and papas, a pizza topped with bacon and potato slices.
What's up with the Daux?
The Story: Dan is a graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and a pastry specialist. He loves the nearly scientific precision of baking and the control it grants him over the final product. After graduation he started working at Tammie Coe Cakes where he honed his craft and started experimenting with pizza in his spare time. The catalyst for that experimentation came from Dan's girlfriend who gave him Peter Reinhart's pizza travelogue epic, American Pie. Dan loved the book and was intrigued by the dough recipes in the back.
How did you get the name?
Dan was reviewing a new hire at Tammie's when he realized the applicant's name was pronounced "Moe" but spelled "Maux." When it came time for him to come up with a name for his business he turned to his friend and said, "I'm stealing your name dude." Thus Pizza Dough became Pizza Daux.
How did you start baking pizza?
"I started inviting people over for dinner. I wasn't thinking about starting anything yet. We started doing it on a weekly basis, every Sunday. It just eventually started getting bigger. Family started coming over, friends started coming over." The popularity of pizza night grew until his family was prodding him to turn it into a business.
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What was the hardest part of getting started?
"Getting the oven. Most of the mobile ovens were $18,000 to $20,000. My Dad ended up running into someone who made these custom wood fired ovens. So I flew out to California to check it out. The ovens are called 'Cardinali' pizza ovens. Out the door it was probably $3500. It helped get my foot in the door."
Pizza Daux is still establishing a regular circuit but for now you can count on finding them most Friday nights at the Sleepy Dog Saloon & Brewery serving up fresh pies from 6 pm onward. You can also catch up with Pizza Daux on their Facebook and on Twitter.