'My PIzza Oven' on Serious Eats
"...that's become one of our qualifications for new friends: 'How much pizza can you eat and how often? Oh, you don't like pizza? Nice knowing you.'"
"If you are going to try to do a party like this for kids, I recommend having plenty of adults to help, pre-portioning your dough on a floured surface, and working in manageable groups."
The Pizza Pilgrims are Thom and James Elliot, a couple of brothers from the UK who flew to the tip of Italy, picked up a Piaggio Ape (it's pronounced ah-peh, Italian for "bee"), and drove it back to London. On route, they stopped at various pizza destinations in Italy, from pizzerias to an olive farm, where they boosted their knowledge of the dish they would make back home.
It's been a while since we've had a My Pizza Oven, so I'm happy to welcome Neil Gunning, a chef from Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia, who has built a wood-fired earth oven in his back yard.
"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."
While he is not well-known here on Slice, a relative newcomer to the wood-fired homemade pizza scene has been posting pictures of some mouthwateringly delicious-looking pizzas over at pizzamaking.com under the screen name dellavecchia. Dellavecchia has made rapid progression with his wood-fired oven and his curiosity, passion, and constant experimentation convinced me that he needed to be featured on My Pizza Oven. Let's put him in the hot seat! —PB John and his Primavera 70 Oven. [Photographs: Marcus Aaron Walker, courtesy of John Della Vecchia] Name: John Della Vecchia Location: Natick, Massachusetts (just outside of Boston) Oven: Forno Bravo Primavera...
When Tom Scarborough made his My Pie Monday debut yesterday and mentioned cooking in "my WFO for a couple minutes at 800°F," I knew we had our next victim for http://slice.seriouseats.com/tags/My+Pizza+Oven">My Pizza Oven. Let's put him in the hot seat!
"I've roasted vegetables on post-pizza days and have used the oven as a smoker. I like the roasting in particular because it makes use of heat from the pizza firing. I want to try bread pretty soon and plan to cook a Thanksgiving turkey in there this year."
"When you build a pizza oven, suddenly everyone is your friend—even people you were sure hated you! Our neighbor's kids come to the fence with hungry looks and usually go back in with a couple of pizzas." —Dave Konstantin
"You don't need a lot of money or space to have a wood-fired oven. I built this oven by myself in less than a week of actual work for less than $200. It makes excellent pizzas, and with a live fire can make easily more than a dozen 12-inch pies, bake tons of bread, and even roast a chicken. I had zero masonry experience and still pulled this off.... Go for it! What's the worst that can happen? You have a pile of mud in your backyard?"
Over the weekend Timothy Paul Perry (aka timotheos) started a thread in Serious Eats Talk about his DIY pizza oven. It was so intriguing—he uses an inverted wok as a dome in a hacked home oven—that people were pinging him for pictures and more info. I knew I had to put him in the hot seat for a My Pizza Oven interview. Whoomp, here it is.
I don't know if I've made it clear during Pizza But Not Pizza Week/Fusion Pizza Week yet that these 5 days are more about the celebration of novel forms of pizza — not a diss on them. With that in mind, I would like to introduce you to Rene Walhout and his very novel form of making pizza — the G3 Ferrari Countertop Pizza Oven. The pizzas that come out of it look really good. Which is amazing, because this gadget looks more like a tortilla press than a serious oven. But Rene swears by it and was excited to share it. I've caught the fever now, too, and am on the lookout for one. Anyway, let's get Rene in the hot seat. Right this way ....
You might recognize Jay Jerrier primarily by his screen name on Slice — canerosso. He's the first My Pizza Oven profile I've done with someone who owns a mobile pizza oven. From the looks of his pizzas, it looks like the oven on wheels is no impediment to high-quality pies. Without further ado, let's get Jay in the hot seat!
Last week, I got an email from David S. with the subject line "Another pizza oven grows in Brooklyn." David was referring to Mark Wilkie's backyard Brooklyn pizza oven, which you may remember from August of last year. Building a pizza oven in a Brooklyn backyard is sort of a feat, since A) space is at a premium and B) it's often pretty damn difficult to get items into the backyard because there's often no access other than what you've got going through the living space itself. Anyway, David promises to keep us updated throughout the process. (Between his first...
Mike Senese is one of the hosts of the Science Channel's Catch It Keep It, where he's the "Engineer of Destruction." He puts his engineering chops to use coming up with how-to projects in support of his love of pizza. He's used to flamethrowers, so we figured he wouldn't mind a turn in the hot seat here for another of Slice's My Pizza Oven/Pizza Obsessives interviews.
This week's My Pizza Oven interview is our first international edition. Matt Stuttle, from Cambridge, UK, joins us to tell us about his oven, which he uses to great effect to entertain family, friends, and neighbors. (And, no, that's not Matt in the photo at left but his son—that kid's going to have quite the advantage when it comes to the Pizza Cognition Theory.
Last week I got an email from today's My Pizza Oven subject, Sue Wong of Phoenix: "I just had my first wood-fired oven installed in my backyard a month ago and have been reading everything I can on pizza, and your blog is my favorite." Well, if Ms. Wong was gunning for a MPO spot, she knew just the right buttons to push. Flattery gets you everywhere, right? Anyway, without further ado, let's put Sue in the hot seat.