Iron Tomato on Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, NY is an Italian, nonna-style café with upper class clientele and a one-eyed pizza maker.
Fauto Pazmino, 60, makes line-out-the door-on-a-Friday-night pizza – and every other night pizza, too. Pazmino likes to show off his 45 years of making pizza by handling his dough like a Harlem Globetrotter handles their basketball. “I like to be in the window. I like to flip the dough, make the Mexican sombrero and all that, you know?”
Pazmino is the son of an Italian father and Ecuadorian mother. Pazmino’s father died when he was five years old. After his father’s death his mother moved him and his brother to the United States from South America. Pazmino’s mother wanted her son’s to be successful and showed them the art of cooking.
“I became a chef when I was only 15, now I’m 60, “ said Pazmino. “Thanks god I know how to make every type of dough, every kind of pizza and every kind of pasta.”
Think of any cuisine and Pazmino can produce it. “I cook anything… Chinese, Asian. Because I used to chef over at Two Boots in the Village, the original.”
Pizza is Pazmino’s favorite food to cook. At Iron Tomato, he is know for his pesto, eggplant and mozzarella pizza. “When I don’t make this pizza, people get sad and ask me to make it, “ said Pazmino. “Then, you know what, I make it because people come and I make them happy.”
You can find this one-eyed pizza man smiling every time you walk into his side of the café. “I’m very happy every time I’m working in a busy place,” said Pazmino. “When I work in a booming place, where people are coming and everything – I never get tired.”