A pizza maker is someone who makes pizzas. Pizza makers can work in pizzerias and other establishments where pizzas are served, and the complexity of the job varies, depending on how the restaurant is organized. Many pizza makers learn their skills on the job, but it is also possible to receive formal training at a culinary school to learn about the various steps of pizza making and refine skills.
In some restaurants, pizza is made from scratch, and the pizza maker is heavily involved. This starts with preparing the pizza dough, which must be done several hours before service to give the dough an opportunity to fully rise and develop. When someone orders a pizza, dough which is risen and ready to go must be prepared to make a pizza, which involves flattening it to the desired size and thickness. Pizza makers are often depicted tossing dough to get it to flatten evenly, a task which requires elastic dough and skilled hands.
In addition to working on the dough, the pizza maker may prep the items used on pizza, or supervise an assistant in their preparation. Cooks like to have ingredients precut and ready to go during service so that they can work quickly, and a pizza maker may grate cheeses, chop vegetables, and prepare meats. Pizza makers also make sure that containers of seasonings, oil, and other tools of the trade are readily available and set up before they need to start cooking. Pizza makers can also cook and prepare sauces, participate in the selection process for ingredients, and develop various pizzas for the menu.
In a sit down restaurant, the pizza maker prepares the pizza, slides it into the oven, and removes and slices it when it is fully cooked. Pizza makers may also be responsible for maintaining the pizza oven, confirming that the temperature is correct and keeping an eye on all the pizzas inside. To-go pizza is prepared similarly, except that it is boxed instead of plated for the customer.
A pizza maker can also make pizzas which will be refrigerated or frozen until they are ready to cook. Customers can take these pizzas home and heat them at leisure in their home ovens. The pizza may not taste quite the same as a pizza prepared in a commercial oven, as commercial pizza ovens get very hot, changing the way in which the pizza cooks. Various tricks may be used to impart some of the familiar flavor, such as adding liquid smoke to the pizza to recreate the slightly smoky flavor and aroma of a pizza prepared in a wood fired oven.