Spotlight of the Month: David from Sydney, Australia

Introducing David from Sydney, Australia, our esteemed Spotlight of the Month at Authentic Pizza Ovens!

As a retired businessman, David appreciates the ease and versatility of cooking with his Maximus pizza oven. Whether he's crafting perfect pizzas, baking fish, or roasting meats, David fully embraces the variety of culinary possibilities our ovens offer.

His passion for good food and his enthusiastic support for our products exemplify why we love our customers. Thank you, David, for being a part of our community and for sharing your love of cooking with us!


Where are you from and a little background information on you?

I live in Sydney, Australia, a city known for its warm, humid summers and mild winters that are perfect for outdoor activities.

After spending my entire career in the business world, I am now happily retired, enjoying the freedom and leisure that comes with this new phase of life.

While my family jokingly refers to me as a foodie, I prefer to think of myself as someone who simply appreciates good food. I don't seek out anything extravagant; instead, I value creativity and quality in cooking.

Whether it's a simple home-cooked meal or a new recipe, I enjoy exploring the art of making delicious food that brings joy to the table.


Which oven did you choose and why did you choose an Authentic Pizza Oven?

When it came to selecting the perfect oven for my home, I decided on the Maximus in red from Authentic Pizza Ovens. Its size and aesthetic fit seamlessly with the design of my home, making it an ideal choice.

My decision was not made lightly. I spent about six months thoroughly researching various ovens. I considered numerous brands and evaluated their features, seeking the one that would best meet my needs.

During this period, I delved into online reviews to gauge the experiences of other users. The consistent positive feedback about Authentic Pizza Ovens caught my attention.

One significant factor that influenced my decision was the presence of Authentic Pizza Ovens in both the USA and Australia. Knowing that the company had operations in both countries gave me peace of mind.

It reassured me that if I ever encountered any issues or needed support, I could rely on their established presence and customer service in Australia.

This local operation was crucial because it meant that I wouldn't have to deal with the hassle of long-distance communication or international shipping delays for parts or assistance.

The logistics of obtaining the oven were also straightforward and convenient. Authentic Pizza Ovens ships daily out of Sydney, which meant that I could expect prompt delivery without unnecessary delays.

This efficiency was a major plus, as it allowed me to plan the installation and use of the oven without significant disruption.

In addition to these practical considerations, the Maximus oven's performance and reputation were key elements in my decision. The reviews highlighted its ability to achieve high temperatures quickly and maintain consistent heat, essential for making authentic, high-quality pizzas.

Related: Get to know your Authentic Pizza Oven!


The versatility of the oven, capable of cooking a variety of dishes beyond pizza, was another appealing feature. This flexibility meant that the oven would not just be an occasional-use item, but a central part of my cooking routine.

Another aspect that I found appealing was the aesthetic design of the Maximus. The vibrant red color added a touch of character and style to my outdoor space.

It’s not just a functional appliance; it’s also an attractive feature that enhances the overall ambiance of my home. The combination of form and function in the Maximus made it stand out among other ovens I considered.

In summary, the decision to purchase the Maximus in red from Authentic Pizza Ovens was the result of careful research and consideration. The oven's size, design, and positive reviews played significant roles, as did the company's operational presence in Australia and the convenience of local shipping.

The performance capabilities and aesthetic appeal of the Maximus made it the perfect addition to my home, ensuring that I can enjoy not only delicious, authentic pizzas but a variety of other dishes as well.


What is your favorite thing to cook in your oven? And have you tried other foods besides pizza?

Cooking with my oven has opened up a world of culinary possibilities. While pizza is a staple, making up about 50% of what we cook, we've also explored a variety of other dishes.

Fish accounts for around 30% of our oven use, and the remaining 20% is dedicated to other meats and chicken. This versatility is one of the things I love most about my oven.

My favorite non-pizza dish to cook in the oven is sea bass, although any fish can work wonderfully. I use a marinade made of equal parts miso, mirin, and cooking sake.

The fish is marinated and then placed in the oven for 15 minutes with the skin side up. This method ensures perfectly cooked fish with a deliciously crispy skin. Occasionally, I turn the fish over for just a minute to enhance the crispness of the skin, though it's not always necessary.


Recipe 1: Miso-Marinated Sea Bass


  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • 30 ml miso
  • 30 ml mirin
  • 30 ml cooking sake


  1. Mix miso, mirin, and cooking sake in a bowl to create the marinade.
  2. Coat the sea bass fillets with the marinade and let them sit for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to a high temperature.
  4. Place the fillets skin side up on a baking tray and put them in the oven.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes, then optionally turn the fillets over for an additional minute to crisp the skin.

Apart from fish, we've enjoyed experimenting with various meat dishes. One favorite is a succulent roast chicken with herbs.


Recipe 2: Herb-Roasted Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 15 g chopped fresh rosemary
  • 15 g chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to a high temperature.
  2. Rub the chicken with olive oil, then season with rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place the chicken in the oven and roast for about 1 hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 75°C.
  4. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Another delicious option we've enjoyed is Salmon with lemon.


Lemon Salmon in a Cast Iron Pan


  • 2 salmon fillets (about 200 grams each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh dill, chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your wood-fired pizza oven to a high temperature (around 230-260°C).
  2. Place a cast iron pan in the oven to preheat.
  3. Rub the salmon fillets with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Once the pan is hot, carefully remove it from the oven and arrange the lemon slices in the bottom of the pan.
  5. Place the salmon fillets on top of the lemon slices, skin side down.
  6. Sprinkle the minced garlic and chopped dill (if using) over the salmon.
  7. Return the pan to the oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  8. Serve the salmon hot, garnished with additional fresh dill and lemon wedges if desired.

Finally, I love my pizza.  My favorite is switching up different meats but love to top them off with Rocket!


Meat Pizza with Rocket Lettuce


  • 1 pizza dough ball (about 250 grams)
  • 120 ml tomato sauce
  • 150 grams mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 100 grams cooked and sliced sausage or pepperoni
  • 50 grams prosciutto slices
  • 50 grams salami slices
  • 1 handful of rocket (arugula) lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your wood-fired pizza oven to a high temperature (around 400-450°C).
  2. On a lightly floured surface, stretch the pizza dough to your desired size and thickness.
  3. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges for the crust.
  4. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
  5. Arrange the sausage or pepperoni slices, prosciutto, and salami evenly over the cheese.
  6. Sprinkle dried oregano over the top, and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer the pizza to a preheated pizza stone or a pizza peel dusted with flour or cornmeal.
  8. Bake in the wood-fired oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
  9. Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes.
  10. Toss the rocket lettuce with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  11. Scatter the dressed rocket lettuce over the top of the pizza just before serving.


Final Words

Enjoy your delicious wood-fired lemon salmon and meat pizza with rocket lettuce! Cooking with my oven has been a delightful experience, allowing me to explore a wide range of dishes.

From perfectly cooked fish to succulent roast chicken and tender ribs, this oven has proven to be a versatile and indispensable tool in my kitchen.

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