Purpose of this blog

This blog will really be a true web log. I will post here about different wood-fired ovens as I find them.

If you know of any wood-fired ovens I should know about, you can send an e-mail to me. (If you build wood-fired ovens, I would like to hear from you too.)

There will lots of posts and lots of labels, since I plan to create one post for every appropriate web site that I find, and however many labels it takes to describe each one (usually at least the type of page and the location of the oven).

The accumulated information will still be found at the real Quest for Ovens web site links pages, but that is not updated as frequently as this blog will be.

If you are from outside the US and Canada, let me know what you find interesting about it. I see that I get visitors from India and Iran, and other faraway places. I'd like to know what draws you to this blog.

I received e-mail from the organizers of the BBC Two television show asking if the Saint Paul Bread Club could post a notice about their show Great British Bake-Off for amateur bakers. The information they gave me is now accessible through a link. (The organizers don't have a web page for the show itself yet.)

Please share this with any amateur bakers in Great Britain you may know, or post the link where they might see it.


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bottaro Wood-Fired Pizza, San Diego, California

An article in the Encinitas Patch profiled a firefighter who started a mobile oven business as a sideline to prepare for retirement.

The article says in part:
After almost 30 years with the Encinitas Fire Department, firefighter John Gonzales began contemplating his upcoming retirement in 2015.
He thought it was time to shake things up in his life, and make a move, and this past July, he started Bottaro Wood Fired Pizza. Bottaro is the maiden name of his mother, an Italian-American.
In launching a business, Gonzales decided on a product that he loved himself and knew something about.
The business is Bottaro Wood-Fired Pizza, San Diego, California. The home page says in part:
Bottaro Wood Fired Pizza is an oven on wheels and as we like to call it "Pizza A-Go-Go". We also have salads and appetizers and cook all our food on site. You can find us at Street Fairs and Farmers Markets and also cater Private Parties and Events.
We use the freshest, local produce available, make our own sausage and use organic flour from Utah. Your pizza will bake in about 90 seconds in temperatures of 700 to 900 degrees. All your Family and Friends will appreciate the uniqueness of a Wood Burning Oven as we prepare and cook their food using "Old World" techniques right in your backyard or favorite setting.
This sounds like an interesting variation on the mobile oven business.

Bola Pizza, Austin, Texas

My faithful Google Alert informed me of a rather different take on a mobile pizza business.

I caught an on-line food column from the Austin Chronicle about Bola Pizza, Austin, Texas.

What makes Bola Pizza different from most other mobile pizza businesses is their extension of their business into frozen pizza.

This is not to say that they are not also doing catering and farmers' markets in the Austin area, but very few mobile pizza businesses have branched out into frozen food.

Good luck to them.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Adriatic Grill, Tacoma, Washington

What happens when you have find a restaurant that uses a wood-fired oven, but doesn't even let people know about it on its web site? You can only find out about it by chance.

Well, by chance, I saw a review of the Adriatic Grill, Tacoma, Washington in a Tacoma News Tribune on-line review. The review says in part:
Adriatic Grill resides within one of the toughest neighborhoods for upscale dining. I've tried convincing friends that a restaurant near the mall - yes, that mall - serves superb Kobe flat-iron steak, turns out pizza from a wood-fired oven, masters garlicky Bolognese with al dente chewy pull, and doses grilled peaches with sweetened balsamic for dessert.
I looked at the Asiatic Grill's web site, it doesn't say anything about a wood-fired oven. What a shame.

Jimmy's Bar and Oven, Brookline, Massachusetts

Two different reviewers for the Brookline Patch covered Jimmy's Bar and Oven, Brookline, Massachusetts. (Their web site is minimal, but at least says where they are and when they are open, even if it doesn't offer a clue about what you will find there.)

The first review says in part:

He said the restaurant’s trendy atmosphere was inspired by a lower-Manhattan hotspot Barbutto, including its rubber floors, chalkboard walls with handwritten specials, and garage doors in front.
But Hamelburg said they built the place mainly around the giant WoodStone Oven in the kitchen, which he claims is definitely a focal point of the room.
“Will you look at the flame in the back?” Hamelburg exclaims. “It’s the coolest thing ever!”

The second review says in part:
Though Boston might not have the pizza definitude of, say, New York, or Chicago, we know what we like, and we have some dang fine pies to our name. Which brings me to Jimmy's Bar and Oven on Beacon Street, where the 'oven' in the restaurant's name is a Wood Stone model, churning out pizzas from a fire that burns close to a thousand degrees Farenheit. The benefit of that heat appears in the crust: a high baking temperature produces a crispier crust and more even cooking. Jimmy's crust is substantial enough to hold all the toppings, but not so thick that it overshadows the toppings. And, it's crispy all the way through—a rarity, even among some of the best pizza makers.
Sounds like a hot spot worth visiting.

Central Market Restaurant, Petaluma, California

A weekly column for the Sonoma Valley Sun highlighted the Central Market Restaurant, Petaluma, California.

The column says in part:
Located in downtown Petaluma, Central Market sits right on the charming town’s main street. The space is utterly delightful, with a rustic brick wall, soaring ceilings and tall windows, which allow for splendid views of the neighboring historic buildings. The light is somehow perfect, soft and golden. A wood-burning oven presides over the dining room, emitting a cozy warmth. The whole effect is completely romantic. Although both the staff and the atmosphere are marvelous, what guests return for over and over is Chef-owner Tony Najiola’s lovingly prepared, seasonal cuisine
The page on the Central Market's own site says a little about the oven:
In the heart of the dining room, behind the fresh oyster bar, you will find Tony and his highly trained crew pulling piping hot creations from the glowing wood burning oven.
Sounds like a lot more than your ordinary wood-fired restaurant.

Hearth Wood Fired Breads, Plymouth, Massachusetts

I have been kind of busy lately, so I haven't been posting many updates.

Now there is going to be a flood of them. I'm going to work backward, just because that's easiest.

My Google Alert pulled up a news article about sources of artisan breads.

There were multiple bakeries mentioned, but the one covered here is Hearth Wood Fired Breads, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Their home page says in part:
At Hearth Wood Fired Bread, we are passionate about creating a spectacular loaf of bread. We are committed to serving our customers and providing the best tasting loaves of bread possible.
It also has a video showing their oven and their bread-making process.

It certainly looks worth a visit.