I first met Seth Mazow from Year of the Pizza at the Austin Bleetup (Blogger Meetup). He was one of those interesting guys that everyone wanted to talk to. Reason? Seth has cool perspectives on life and is excited about whatever he does. On top of that, he recently won a whole year of free pizza from Austin’s Home Slice Pizza by keeping his hand on an eggplant sub for 7 hours. How cool / funny is that?
Intrigued by his funny story and his even funnier blog, I set up a meeting with Seth to ask him a few questions and snap a few pictures for an interview to be featured on the TastingBuds.
I met up with a newly shaven Seth in front of Home Slice at about 5:45. After taking a few pics outside, we walked into the restaurant where we were greeted very warmly by all sorts of people – almost everyone there knows Seth since he’s in there all the time.
We grabbed a well lit seat by the window for the sake of picture taking and pondered what kind of pizza to get. Since he is the expert on all things Home Slice, I decided to try Seth’s favorite topping: anchovies. This is despite the fact that I have never liked them, but who knows? It had been about 5 years since I had them, and maybe I would like them this time.
For the next hour, I snapped pictures of him over a large fried eggplant (amazing!), red pepper (tasty!), green olive, and anchovy (eh… good for the first slice but too salty after that) and we had a little chat.
1. Peter From TastingBuds: How is the blog www.theyearofthepizza.com coming along? What inspired you to start the the site and what is your ultimate goal with the blog?
Seth: Year of the Pizza is lots of fun. It helps me practice my writing, photography and social media skills, and gives me a way to share my experiences with people in a more in depth way than telling them “no, I’m not tired of pizza yet”.
2. TastingBuds: I’m intrigued by the “paying pizza forward” section of your blog where you take a stranger out to dinner and that same stranger picks one of their friends to get the next free meal. What was the inspiration for that and what insights have you gained from your conversations with these strangers?
Seth: I had the idea when I was trying to think of ways I could use my deal to do some good. I initially thought about inviting a whole bunch of homeless people to pizza, but I figured it might turn out to be a faucet I’d have a hard time turning off, and didn’t think Home Slice would like the word getting out among the homeless that it was a great place to score free pizza.
But I’ve thought about these types of ideas before. At the end of my freshmen year of college, I was scheduled to go on a game show called Greed, which was simliar to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. I figured I had a good chance of making a lot more money than I knew what to do with, so I was going to hitchhike home that summer (from LA to Dallas) and leave $10k or $20k in the glove compartments of the folks who picked me up. They would be doing a good deed at some risk to themselves, and should be rewarded. The show ended up getting canceled before I went on so I didn’t come into high cotton, but I went ahead and hitchhiked home anyway, and have been interested in helping out the random amongst us ever since.
TastingBuds Note *** It came up after the official interview that Seth had lived abroad in India doing volunteer work as part of his philosophy of helping out other people
3. TastingBuds: Imagine it’s your last day of The Year of Pizza with no more free pizza after that. What toppings do you order on your last pizza and what is going though your mind?
Double anchovies, green olives, garlic, fried eggplant, mushrooms, extra cheese, roasted red peppers. What’s going through my mind? Must win again tomorrow!
- Cost of delicious pizza? $0.00 dollars, AKA $FREE.99
4. TastingBuds: Your fiance recently re-proposed to you at Home Slice (apparently just to double seal the deal) by ordering a pizza that had “Marry Me” spelled out in peppers. I tried Googling “pizza marry me” and your blog was the only result to come up. Do you think this original idea will become a trend?
I hope so, but I doubt it. Although there’s plenty of pizza-themed weddings, with pizza instead of wedding cake, wedding cakes that look like pizza, etc.
5. TastingBuds: Do you ever get tired of answering questions about The Year of Pizza? What else do you like to do?
Not really, I enjoy seeing the looks of disbelief and awe in people’s eyes. When I’m not eating pizza, I enjoy the outdoors, bicycle culture, brewing and drinking beer, reading, politics, hitchhiking, tacos, and ridiculousness in all its forms.
TastingBuds Final Notes
Seth’s Free Year of Pizza began in November of 2008, so he’s approaching the end of his Year of Pizza and will have to defend his title soon. If you haven’t already checked out his blog, Seth has provided answers to many commonly asked questions not covered in our interview here.
Thanks and Happy Tasting,