In Guatemala, Chef David Garciá Uses an Erupting Volcano As His Pizza Oven

Justinreznick/iStock via Getty Images
Justinreznick/iStock via Getty Images / Justinreznick/iStock via Getty Images

If you don't mind the deafening noise, intense heat, and risk of bodily harm, an erupting volcano is a perfect spot to cook lunch. Many thrill-seekers have used lava to heat food before, but Mario David García Mansilla may be the first person to open a restaurant on a lava-spewing volcano.

As Atlas Obscura reports, Pizza Pacaya operates on the slopes of the Pacaya Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala. It's run by a 34-year-old chef and accountant from the local village of San Vicente Pacaya, and the restaurant's exact location changes based on where lava is cooling on any given day. Including García, there are three employees total.

To cook the pies, García and company head to one of the lava “caves” dotting the sides of the volcano. These caves form when gases try to escape gobs of thick, built-up lava. Gas bubbles that don't burst solidify into cave-like structures. Before they cool completely, these domes can be used as natural pizza ovens. Pizza can also be cooked directly on the molten rocks on the slopes of the volcano.

After first cooking pizza with lava as a hobby, García turned Pacaya Volcano into a business in 2019. Today, customers can make reservations to enjoy a meal that requires full protective gear to make. You can see how García does it in the video below.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]