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My Pizza Oven: Kate and Nick Martin's Indoor Wood-Fired Oven

You may have seen Tupper Cooks' pizzas here on My Pie Monday or on his blog. A couple weeks ago he cooked some at the home of his friends, Kate and Nick Martin. The Martins, it was revealed, have an indoor WFO. Yeah, I know. Wow. This is a first for MPO, so let's cut the intro chatter and get Kate in the hot seat, shall we? —The Mgmt.

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[Photographs: Tupper Cooks!]

Name: Kate and Nick Martin
Location: Tupper Lake, New York

When did you put it in? Did you build it yourself or have someone build it?

It was installed when we built our house, circa 2006. It is made of French stone and has has a honeycomb shape (the inside portion that is). It is alleged by them (the manufacturers) that this particular stone retains heat better than most, so the baker does not need to feed the fire as often. It came as a kit, but the builder put it all together. The outside stone is from a portico on one of the buildings on our property which fell down. The stone mason built this around the honeycomb inside kit. It probably took a few days to build because the granite had to be cut and fitted around the oven.

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How often do you use it?

It has been used maybe six times. It is a fantastic oven, but it takes about three hours to heat up. However, once it is going it puts out great heat, and the pizzas taste delicious. It is in our house, which we rent, so it probably doesn't see that much use, which is a shame. It looks great in the corner of the kitchen.

Do you cook anything besides pizza in it?

No. Bread would be awesome, though.

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What style of pizza do you normally do?

Either homemade crust or frozen dough from the local grocery store.

What's your favorite topping or topping combination to make?

Well, we like pepperoni, Hawaiian, and sausage with peppers and mushrooms.

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Do you cook for friends/neighbors?

Yes. It's great to get a whole group of people together and crank out the pizzas. The last count in early November was 26 people. The more the merrier.

What does your family think of your pizza madness?

Oh, they love pizza. The more the better. And because we love visiting Italy, a pizza oven in the house was an obvious choice—although the Italians keep their pizza ovens outside. People cannot believe that we have a pizza oven in the kitchen.

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Yes, Billy Joel has — or at least at one time *had* an indoor, in-kitchen wood-fired pizza oven. The guys LOVES pizza. [Photograph: heatkit.com]

I can't either. I mean, it's one thing in a restaurant, where you expect it, but at home, wow. I've always thought that was for rock stars — you know, like Billy Joel. ... Anyway ... the Pizza Cognition Theory states that "the first slice of pizza a child sees and tastes ... becomes, for him, pizza." Do you remember your first slice? Where was it from, is the place still around, and if so, does it hold up? On that note, has your taste in pizza evolved over time?

Traveling to Italy and ordering pizza in the restaurants. Still have the same pizza tastes. Don't remember the first pizza—can only remember back as far as 1996!

Where do you go for pizza in your area (when you're not making your own)?

Little Italy or Guido's.

What one thing should NEVER go on a pizza?

For me, olives (yuk). Gotta have tasty tomato sauce, too. Too much sauce makes it really mushy, though. Did that a few weeks ago!

Most unusual pizza you've ever eaten?

Sausage, green pepper, onions, anchovies. I have also had a dessert pizza with chocolate and candies. That was yummy!

What's the farthest you've traveled for pizza?

Italy!

Anything you'd like to get off your chest?

Pizza sauce!

Allow me to be lazy here: Anything you want to ask yourself?

Can we get a diet pizza — i.e., low-cal? LOL

Who would you like to see interviewed next?

Tupper Cooks!—on what it was like to make the pizzas.

Ah, yes, let's throw up a picture of one of Tupper's pizzas ...

20101130-mpo-finished-pizza.jpgAs for an interview with him, I think that can be arranged. Tupper? ;) And, Kate, thanks for playing along!

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