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.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Oven and Shaker, Portland, Oregon

A Willamette Week restaurant review covered two wood-fired pizza places in Portland, Oregon at once.

The second restaurant reviewed was Oven and Shaker, Portland, Oregon.

The review says in part,
Oven and Shaker’s wood-burning oven came ... from Italy, but Whims’ devotion to Northwestern bounty is reflected in her thoroughly untraditional pizza toppings, which include bosc pear, roasted squash and Oregon anchovy. Best of all is the chanterelle, radicchio, fontina, leeks and fried capers pizza ($15), which tastes like a crisp December morning. (If you’d rather not experiment, you can get a standard Margherita or salami pie.)
The web site for Oven and Shaker says in part:
Oven and Shaker is a new urban saloon, bringing delectable wood-burning oven pizza, Italian street food, and ingredient-driven, classic cocktails to Portland’s Pearl District. Oven and Shaker is the collective vision of three Portland hospitality veterans: three-time James Beard nominated chef Cathy Whims (Nostrana), veteran Northwest bartender Ryan Magarian, and ChefStable visionary Kurt Huffman.
This sounds like an Oregon locavore's dream

Via Tribunali, Portland, Oregon

A Willamette Week restaurant review covered two wood-fired pizza places in Portland, Oregon at once.

The first restaurant that it covered was Via Tribunali, Portland, Oregon. (This location is part of a chain of Via Tribunali restaurants.)

The review says in part:
There seems to be no disorder in the kitchen, though. Via Tribunali’s oven runs so hot—1,200 degrees Fahrenheit—that pizzas arrive within 10 minutes of ordering even on a busy night. They are impeccable: thin, very chewy, 12-inch pies, their bottoms charred, their sauces fragrant. The house special ($17) is a rolled-edge thing, topped with tomato sauce, smoked mozzarella, cherry tomato, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella, grana padano and basil, that’s about halfway to a calzone. It’s good, but too doughy for my taste. I prefer the basic Margherita ($13, though it’s worth paying another $3 to upgrade to springy, tangy buffalo mozzarella) or, better, the quattro formaggi. The latter is among the best things I’ve eaten this year, covered in a thick-but-not-too-thick stratum of mozzarella, smoked provola and grana padano studded with little land mines of Gorgonzola that detonate on the palate. There are things other than pizza on the menu—a very good mixed salumi board and pleasant, unremarkable salads—and the bar makes a very fine Negroni, but everything is overshadowed by the pizza.
It sounds like an interesting outpost for the Seattle-based chain.

Olio Pizza e Piu, New York, New York

A New York Times article reviewing a different restaurant mentioned Olio Pizza e Piu, New York, New York.

Their home page says in part:
Olio Pizza e Piu brings the West Village something it hasn’t had in a long time, an authentic Neapolitan restaurant. Unique amongst Italian restaurants, Olio is at the intersection of two cities of great cultural and culinary wealth, Naples and New York. Synonymous with pizza for many, Neapolitan food has reached the four corners of the world like few other cuisines. However, the farther it has reached, the food has strayed from the cuisine that originated in Italy, which brought it fame and admiration For this reason, Olio preserves the true richness and character of pizzas, antipasti and pasta, conjuring the smells and tastes that fill the streets of southern Italy. Our love for true Neapolitan food inspires us to make gourmet pizzas and genuine Neapolitan dishes in a wood-burning brick oven as they have for generations in Italy. The only way to truly match our generous menu and exquisite service is to buy a plane ticket for Europe's gorgeous boot.
They also have a Facebook page.

Forcella, New York, New York

A New York Times on-line article reviewed Forcella, New York, New York (and Brooklyn, NY).

The review says in part:

Rather, Mr. Adriani has a fryer. If you follow the pizzarazzi, you might know about his montanara ($10), a margherita made with a crust shaped and flash-fried before being topped and finished in the wood-burning oven. Yes, pizza that’s fried and fired. As the kids put it: double rainbow.
The montanara pulls it off. The fryer lends a crisp airiness to the crust, not to mention a thin coat of oil that has the naughty pleasure of street food; the oven gives it color and adds a little smoke.

The review is not entirely positive.

The business also has a Facebook Restaurant/Cafe page.

It looks like an interesting departure from normal wood-fired pizza.