To say that Mike Butcher is passionate about making pizza is definitely an understatement.
Butcher bought his first wood-burning pizza oven almost two decades ago, and began creating pizza pies that smelled so incredible that neighbors would come over to see what he was cooking.
“It all started when I was coaching for the Los Angeles Angels and we wanted to do something for our kids during the off-season, where we could all get together and have our kids’ friends and families come over and hang out. It grew from there,” he says.
Butcher, along with his wife Tami, and their friends and business partners Tim and Angela Stutz, recently decided to take this love of creating traditional wood-fired pizza and turn it into a mobile pizza truck.
“Angela is the culinary arts teacher at Perry High School, while Tim has been a chef for some top-tier resorts in Arizona and California. Tami has a long history of working in the restaurant business,” Butcher says.
The Butchers and the Stutzes launched The Pizza Butcher in January, which specializes in wood-fired pizzas and cheesesteaks prepared in an oven imported from Florence, Italy.
As Butcher notes, the secret to the amazing pizza starts with the dough.
“We make a 12- to 15-hour ‘poolish,’ and then we make the dough the next day and it cold ferments for an additional 48 hours,” Butcher says, adding that they use an Italian fork mixer, which creates an airy, well-textured dough.
The pies are topped with fresh ingredients like Old World pepperoni, house-made sausage, and homemade sauce.
In addition to classic pizzas, Butcher says they offer a number of specialty options.
These include the Rueben Pizza, which features slow-roasted corned beef, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and a blend of Swiss and mozzarella; or a Taco Pizza, topped with seasoned ground beef or carne asada along with lettuce, tomatoes, and Doritos.
“Our motto is if you can think of it, we can make it,” Butcher says.
The Pizza Butcher is currently available for private events, where Butcher and his team create whole pies or half pies.
“We are also looking at working with several breweries, where we will use their brew and make our dough with that, and we’ve also talked to local businesses that have wine bars that want to do pairings with our pizza,” he says. “Also, look for us weekly in front of Bottle & Bean for happy hour at least once a week.”