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.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tutta Bella, Seattle, Washington

While visiting Seattle and eating at one wood-fired oven pizza place, my friends and local guides showed me a place they knew that I had not heard of, Tutta Bella.According to a small sign in the restaurant, Tutta Bella is the oldest VPN-certified pizza place in Washington. That seems to correspond to the certificate numbers on the VPN web page that I found.

They certainly use genuine Caputo flour.

It certainly is a wood-fired oven.

It looked like a nice place, and according to their web site and the VPN site, there are actually several Tutta Bella locations around the Seattle area.

They all seem to have their own Facebook pages, but this page was the one I visited.

David Cargo Brick Bread Oven / Pizza Oven

I sometimes see where somebody is searching for information about bread and pizza ovens using my name as part of the search.

I do not yet have a set of complete set of detailed plans or a book or DVD on my oven plans and oven construction techniques. (I have been working on a manuscript, which will include plans and diagrams. If you know of a suitable or interested publisher, please let me know or have them contact me.)

I do post information on-line about my class schedule.

You can also e-mail me with questions about my classes.

Currently I regard my oven designs as my intellectual property (IP). I know people who have built their own ovens using information collected in my brick oven links page, but not using my specific designs. I make what I find on the net available through that links collection, but I feel that my own designs have their own advantages.

I won't give away my intellectual property for free by posting it on the internet. I will share the information with people who take my classes, and I'll even keep them updated when I update my designs.

You can save yourself some work by taking my class and using my designs, but suit yourself.

So, what do you get if you take my class and build one of my ovens? You get an oven that is quick to build (about an hour for the smallest), that gets hot enough to cook pizzas (easily 20 and as many as 40 in 2 1/2 hours if you have a good production line) at high temperatures (starting at 800-1000 degrees), and while not cheap is still a lot cheaper than any other brick oven you are likely to see. (The small oven would cost about $400, not counting taxes and shipping charges.)

8/25/11: Here is a look back at how I got started building ovens.

Three classes are now scheduled for 2012.
Silverwood Park (Twin Cities) on April 28, 2012 (no more classes with them unless they change their minds)
Tunnel Mill (south of Rochester) on May 5, 2012 (no more classes with them in 2012)
Borner Farm Project (Prescott, WI) on June 16, 2012.

Follow the schedule link above for more details.

VPN Americas: US Member Listing by State

While trying to find the name of a VPN-certified restaurant in Seattle (which turned out to be Ristorante Picolinos), I found a page that claims to list the VPN member restaurants in the US. (Plus one in Toronto tucked at the bottom.)

I haven't cross-checked my current links to see if I have all of these linked, but it was interested to discover an index page for several wood-fired oven pizza places.

10/03/11: Thanks to the maintainers of the VPN site, I now have a spreadsheet listing US and Canadian restaurants with certifications. I am massaging the data into a form that I can import into the mapmaking site, and then I will have a map of US VPN-certified restaurants. So, progress is being made, but I don't have an estimated completion date.

11/13/11: Here is the map, current to 11/12/11, I believe.

Queen Margherita, Seattle, Washington Field Report

I had previously posted about a news item that led me to the home page for Queen Margherita in Seattle.

I actually had a chance to visit and try the place out.

Two old friends of mine took me to the wilds of the Magnolia neighborhood in Seattle. We found a cozy storefront with a garage-style door and a nice sit-down space inside.

I chatted with one of the owners while we were waiting (just a short while) for our pizza. If I remember correctly, the oven was imported from Naples.

While they are not a VPN-certified pizza place, they do make pizzas in a similar style.

We ordered a couple of pizzas off of their pizza menu. I wasn't thinking about writing this report at the time, so I didn't happen to take pictures of the pizzas. I think we got the Queen Margherita and a pizza with white sauce instead of tomato sauce. Both were excellent.

I discovered they do have a Facebook community page.

This is a place I can highly recommend.