A Would-Be Broadway Star Became a Local Master Pizza Chef, Thanks to Terrible Pizza at His Wedding

Eliyahu Kheel, Yardley Pizza's culinary artist.
Image via Bucks Local News.
Eliyahu Kheel, Yardley Pizza's culinary artist.
Image via Bucks Local News.

The influences that redirect a budding career are often unpredictable. Eliyahu Kheel’s transformative moment came from some “garbage” pizzas that almost ruined his wedding day.

Jeff Werner for Bucks Local News covered Kheel’s lane-swap from Broadway performer to impresario at Yardley Pizza.

“I got into pizza making when I had the worst pizza in my life during my wedding and my honeymoon,” Kheel said.

He and his fiancée had hired a five-star caterer for their wedding reception. But the “garbage” that came out of the ovens “tasted like cardboard.”

A second pizza disaster then marred his honeymoon. While in London, the newlyweds ordered a pie that arrived with ketchup replacing the expected sauce.

“When I got home, I decided I was going to make my own pizza to see how it goes. And I fell in love with it,” said Kheel.

He studied the pizza art diligently, taking a masterclass and attending two international schools that specialized in the craft.

His pizza expertise became so sharp, he started a Facebook page reviewing area fare. The site, Pizza Justice, has 6,000 followers.

After wielding a paddle at other shops, he bought Yardley Pizza, which he renovated completely.

The debut brought out the public — and a politician or two.

“Yardley Pizza is an institution and it’s great to see new energy being put into this store,” said State Senator Steve Santarsiero.

Business is so brisk, he’s asking for patrons’ patience with his long wait times and seemingly endless takeout calls.

More on Yardley Pizza is at Bucks Local News.

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