How One Chef Cooks Pizza On A Live Volcano

Reality cooking competitions may set all kinds of wild challenges for their contestants, but usually, they shy away from anything too life-threatening. As no TV execs have yet been outlandish enough to suggest a cooking-themed "Fear Factor," just about the scariest thing you're likely to face as a cooking show contestant is a severe dressing-down from Gordon Ramsay. That doesn't mean, however, that thrill-seeking chefs aren't devising their own unbelievable culinary stunts.

Case in point: volcano cooking, which is evidently now a thing, at least among the few intrepid souls who actually find visiting live volcanoes to be a fun day's outing. Accuweather reports that scientists studying Iceland's most recently erupted volcano used molten lava to cook hot dogs for lunch, while a different Accuweather article speaks of tour guides who bring visitors to Guatemala's Pacaya volcano and use its lava flow to roast marshmallows. Now the Pacaya volcano has something else to offer hungry tourists: A man named David Garcia seems to have invented lava-fired pizza.

Pizza Pacaya serves up an explosion of flavor...literally

Pizza chef David Garcia told AFP that he was intrigued by the idea of cooking over a volcano. "I put the pizza together, and one day I brought it to the volcano," he says, adding that the first pizza was cooked in a hot cave where the temps reached about 800 degrees. "When I tasted the flavor of the pizza cooked with the volcanic heat, I said: 'this is a good idea,'" Garcia explained. So, naturally, the next step was to open a restaurant, right?

Well, actually Accuweather relates that it did take Garcia six years to work out all the kinks with his brilliant idea — while he made his first volcano-cooked pizza in 2013, Pizza Pacaya didn't open until 2019. Lava cookery, after all, comes with challenges not covered in "The Joy of Cooking." Garcia explained that things like your pizza being taken by an errant lava flow or the temperature burning it to a crisp are all very real dangers. Still, it seems to be a risk worth taking, since his pizzeria draws a steady stream of tourists eager to experience something one tourist described to AFP as "impressive and unique."