Wood fired Pizza’s – Any good?

by Doc-G on October 19, 2009

I’ve always been sceptical of wood ovens and their proponents. They sometimes just seem too altruistic and goody goody! Like reformed smokers and born again christians, I was under the impression that those who have one just seemed to HAVE to tell you about it. For that very reason, I rebelled against it, clinging to my standard delivery pizza’s from my local delivery shop.

When my friends Paul and Allie invited me to their house as they were going to be ‘firing up their wood oven’, I thought to myself, ‘well it will be great to catch up with them’. I just hoped that I would’nt also get some sort of ‘wood oven manifesto’ delivered by someone at the same time!’. Paul and Allie and their son Christian are foodies. Now when I say this, I dont just mean people who go about their lives doing their normal jobs and eat in top restaurants and read Heston Blumenthal books in their spare time. These are people who have dedicated their lives and careers to pushing food all over the world. Allie has judged cookbooks at the world food media awards and has a MA in Gastronomy. Paul has worked for Le Cordon Bleu and is a highly accomplished food academic too. They live, breathe and emanate food experiences from across the globe. Even their home kitchen is famous.

Well, let me tell you, these crack global food commando’s didn’t shove a ‘wood oven manifesto’ down my throat but instead, I spent as much time as possible shoving their creations down my own throat throughout the duration of my visit to their house. Now for those of you who have experienced the wood oven thing, I dont want to tell you how to suck eggs but these things operate at exceptionally high temperatures, and by that I mean the sort of temperatures that get ouchy when you go near the things. So this means thin crust pizza’s with minimal toppings that cook in seconds. Let me also tell you that the results are truly out of this world too.

Paul Reynolds works his magic with the wood oven

Each pizza was made to order with relative ease by our host who had a plethora of scrumptious ingredients with which to make these delicious morsels. A guest of theirs, Jess was visiting from the UK and wanted to try her hand at making pizza and we were treated to a lovely wood fired pizza with caramelised onion and artichoke. She shows off her creation below.

Jess shows off her creation

We were also very lucky to try some wine, a Dandelion Vineyard straight Cabernet of which a portion of the grapes were grown by Barbara Santich’s partner Tony. Barbara was a guest at this particular party and is a well known food writer and food academic. The wine was easy drinking and a perfect accompaniment to the creations from the wood oven.

The finished product styled by Paul, Allie and Barbara Santich

So the final verdict, a well made wood oven pizza is delectable and lovely and if you are yet to try, do it….immediately!

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