Greetings from Casa Lembo – our place of residence, not a restaurant. We are your hosts – Michele (Manzo) and Mark Lembo – husband & wife, business partners and foodies bringing you the PizzaPix blog.
For nearly thirty years, we have consumed some form of pizza (calzone and stromboli, count) on Friday nights (mainly, but on any other day of the week, as well!). It started with the Danny’s Pizza and Little Caesar’s in Fort Lauderdale during the 80’s, the deep dish deep dive in Chicago during the late-90’s, and the whole California experience with Villagio, Roma and Zelo in the early-2000’s – good times, good eats.
Along the way, there was a ‘make our own dough’ phase which has given way to a more practical two-pronged strategy: a) a simple home-made cornmeal olive oil pizza dough, and b) Publix pre-made Multi-grain or Italian Five Grain doughs.
We’ll share pictures and details about each Friday’s pizza, recipes, ingredients, an occasional wine suggestion and other food/foodie-related posts.
Some influencers and influences you will see along the way: Julia Child, Rick Bayless, Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, Marcella Hazan, Italian, Sicillian, Cuban, cajun, creole, the above mentioned Villagio Pizza (Sierra Madre, CA) and Zelo Gourmet Pizza (Arcadia, CA) and so much more!
Our Pizza/Food Story
Michele’s pizza experience: Friday, pizza and family time have always been connected in
my mind and heart. The tradition started in childhood where Friday was Pizza Night for The Manzo’s with weekly trips to Umberto’s of Long Island in Hollywood, FL for hand-tossed NY style pizza. (Our 10+ years of weekly patronage helped fund their restaurant expansion!) Fast forward to 1990 when as a mom nursing a toddler (and myself) with chicken pox I discovered Julia Child’s recipe for pizza dough and a Friday pizza-making ritual was born.
As I balanced work and family life over the years, my homemade pizzas were replaced with takeout on the way home from the office. It’s all good though because career opportunities brought us to Chicago (deep-dish pizza) and Los Angeles (gourmet pizza). I left the corporate world in 2010 and we moved to Tampa to open our business where I rediscovered Friday pizza-making as a relaxing, creative way to cap a productive week.
During our time in California we developed a love of wine and I enjoy shopping for value wines (red, white and sparkling) to enhance our meals.
Mark’s culinary journey: ‘Chef Lembo’ is the family cook, having grown up in a large Italian family of great cooks. Lembo family dinners for the holidays were events featuring and abundance of ‘food of love.’ Along the way he has taken a number of cooking classes and collected a fair number of cookbooks and recipes to explore and adapt. Rick Bayless and his array of Mexican salsas and entrees are a constant source of inspiration (see Carnitza!). And, even though Michele spent four years in New Orleans, Mark appreciates a well-made homemade roux and the possibilities that opens up!
He enjoys craft beer (the darker the better) and the occasional cigar (also, the darker the better!).