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Tasty food made with high-quality ingredients and delivered with passion: it’s a simple philosophy, but one that’s landed Dodds Pizza a cult-like following since their recent arrival on the Mornington Peninsula.

Their traditional Italian-style pizza and gourmet focaccia have been an immediate hit on the local market circuit, with owners Rodrigo Pancera and partner Marcia Garbin now prioritising an expansion into event catering and private masterclasses.

Pancera worked in a number of kitchens after arriving in Australia from Brazil eight years ago but, like many, emerged post-Covid with a new-found focus. “I became fascinated by pizza,” he says. He devoted all his time to studying dough-making techniques and honing his craft while catering friends’ parties.

His determination to take Dodds from a casual operation to full-time business saw him and Garbin pack up their life in South Australia and move to the Peninsula in late 2023.

Pancera’s obsession with pizza stems from its widespread appeal. “It’s so democratic,” he says. “Everyone loves pizza!” And people really love the pizzas Dodds are producing, with their classic margherita a clear customer favourite. The ingredient list is simple, including Italian flour and tomatoes, with their dough fermenting for at least 48 hours to deliver a impressively light base.

Currently, Pancera is gearing up for a slew of private functions and is keen to begin passing on his knowledge in his masterclasses. In these, he sets up in participants’ homes and teaches the pizza-making process from scratch, from dough-making and hand-stretching through to cooking.

For him, the work doesn’t stop the moment the pizza comes out of the oven. “We like to say that the main product is not the pizza or the focaccia,” he says, “but the whole experience of having us at your place.”

Those planning a private event or party can get in touch with Dodds directly to arrange catering, with the team happily travelling across the Mornington Peninsula with their portable pizza ovens in tow.