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A Nightmare Indeed: Wood-Burning Ovens for Show and Frozen Pizza Dough

Another email from the Slice mailbag. This time from Mark Graban, who built a backyard wood-burning pizza oven at his home in Texas. You'll see why Mark sounds a little miffed. —The Mgmt.

dough (by Slice)

Dear Slice, Letters From Our ReadersDid you catch the episode of Kitchen Nightmares that featured a restaurant, Sebastian's, in Burbank, California? The idiot running the place had two wood-burning ovens running, and they were just for show. Frozen dough, microwaved crap, it was awful. And, worse, the moron wouldn't take the advice of chef Gordon Ramsay.

You can watch the whole episode online. Or read more on Eater L.A.

Or read more on my blog.

--Mark Graban


Dear Mark,

To answer your first question, I actually didn't catch the show when it aired since I'm not an avid follower of food TV shows.

But when you mentioned wood-burning ovens (two!) that served as showpieces and frozen dough, I was intrigued. Actually, at first, I was like, 'Dude. Mark is exaggerating.' But here I am, watching the episode as I type, and I'm flabbergasted.

Some choice (or, maybe not-so-choice) quotes and vignettes:

Owner-chef Sebastian: "Pizza dough comes in fresh-frozen."

Sebastian wants to franchise and do a line of products: "My pizzas soon will be in supermarkets."

Sebastian: "I think it's one of the best frozen doughs I've seen.... And it's one of the only ways right now we can save a dollar."

Ramsay: "You need to start doing one thing, and one thing only. This place could become so popular for homemade fresh pizza."

Ramsay brings in a killer big-ass dough mixer. "That is the best of the best. It is an extraordinary piece of equipment. This is the start of Sebastian's turning around."

But, as you say, Mark, Sebastian really doesn't listen to Ramsay's advice. And the loggerheads they come to--pretty entertaining stuff. Thanks for sending me the link and the heads-up! I'm kinda digging this show. But Sebastian's, not so much.

I think I have a new show to watch.

Hasta la pizza,
Adam

This is the area where I usually give pizzeria addresses, but you won't be needing it in this case.

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