The Wood-Fired Blog

Winter 2014 Snow Pizza Oven Competition Photos

Hey all,

Here is the page with the first great photos of pizza ovens, snow and fire. Thanks for everyone’s submissions so far — we have some wonderful photos. But, I would not that we don’t have one of a person standing in the freezing cold making a great Pizza Napoletana. Click on the link below.

Winter 2014 Pizza Oven Photo Competition

This from me, sitting here in the low 70s and worrying about our drought.

Keep the photos coming!

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Snow, Snow, Snow. And Fire

We are getting some wonderful photos of snow, pizza ovens, and even some fire. And we have reports from the even hard core wood-fired chefs who have not used their ovens this winter for the first time ever. Ouch.

Keep the photos coming, and I will start posting them as they come in on www.fornobravo.com tomorrow!

Hang in there pizza oven lovers. Spring must be out there somewhere.

Larabee_Photos_20409

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Winter 2014 Photo Contest

We are ready to kick off the Winter 2014 Photo Contest. The basic rule is that anyone (who has a pizza oven) can play. Send us your photo at photos@fornobravo.com (any of our customer service email addresses will work), and we will post them as they come in at a special location on Forno Bravo Photos. Your photo does not need to be a new oven, but we would like a new photo if you have submitted a photo to us previously.

We will let everyone know each time we post new photos. Then, after a few weeks, we will vote internally for the semi-finalists, and post the six “best” photos on the Forno Bravo Forum, where you can vote for your favorite in an Internet poll. The photo with the most votes will win a Forno Bravo Got Wood? T-shirt, and the pride of winning this prestigious competition!

We have done a few photo competitions over the years, and they have been a lot of fun, and we have all get to enjoy some great pictures and be inspired for future outdoor kitchen and oven design project.

Here are a couple of links to some previous versions:

Winter 2012/13

Australian Summer 2011/12

Winter 2011/12

Let’s get started — we’re looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Back From a Break From Blogging

It’s been a while since I last blogged, and I have a ton of good stuff queued up to share with you. You might know that 2013 marked our 10th year at Forno Bravo, and we ended the year with a bang. 2013 was our biggest sales year ever, and it marked our 10th consecutive year of year-over-year growth. I’m really proud of that, and for all the people we have helped fall in love with the world of wood-fired cooking.

We have now been in our new factory for a little over a year, and we are getting more efficient all the time, and I am also happy to say that our quality and craftsmanship has never been better. I am a huge believer in continual improvement, and after 10 years of building the world’s best pizza oven, we are always getting better.

Looking forward, we have lots of fun things in the works that we will be sharing with you over the coming weeks and months, including new products, recipes and cloud-based services that we think will help you get more than ever out of your oven — or maybe become a happy owner of a wood-fired for for the first time. Stay tuned.

Out of the gate, we just posted a new series of great Pizza Oven Photos, something I really enjoy. We have some stunning ovens, and some nice snow shots. And some beautiful international ovens.

Speaking of snow, if you are getting hammered this winter, you have my condolences. Our daughter goes to college in Boston, and she has seen it all. Of course Forno Bravo is located in sunny Northern California, where (apparently) it never rains (and we are in a state of emergency). So to help everyone get through the final tough days of winter, we are going to have a Photo Contest. Details to come shortly, but I can say that we will be partial to snow photos in support of our friends in the central and eastern USA. (Sorry Australia).

In other news, I am still baking bread, almost daily, and my sourdough culture is alive and well. I’ve learned a great deal, that I want to share. Think of it as the confessions of a mediocre brad baker. Complete with photos taken from my phone.

And I am still running. Boston2BigSur is coming up in a couple of months (it will be my fifth), and I’m signed up for my second Ironman this summer, with a pretty unrealistic goal of qualifying for Kona in 2-3 years.

So there are lots of good things to look forward to, which for many of you, I know includes spring, and lots of wood-fired cooking!

Stay warm.

Wood-Fired Croatia (or more accurately, Istria)

We just returned from a very nice trip to Croatia. I have wanted to explore the Dalmatian coast for years, and the timing was right this summer. Our older daughter spent the summer working on campus in Boston (a very cool research project on pre-fab building using 3D modeling software and CNC laser equipment) and she had two weeks off before the start of school. And we put it to good use. Fly to London (see family), fly to Venice, boat to Istria (in Croatia), drive to Dubrovnik (bottom of Croatia), drive to Zagreb (the capital), fly to London (see more family) and fly home. It sounds hectic, but it was really very nice.

Istria pizza oven

I thought I would have share a couple of the cooking and food highlights — particularly the ovens. I have written before that the pizza in Venice isn’t very special. I don’t know if it’s an urban legend or actually true, but the story I’ve heard is that Venice had real problems with fires in medieval times, which is why they moved all of the glass manufacturing furnaces out to the island of Murano and banned wood-fired pizza ovens. Even if it isn’t true, it’s a good story. Either way, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wood-fired pizza oven in Venice, or had a particularly good pizza (but I had some really good fish).

Then we took the ferry to Istria.

Istria pizza oven

Istria was different; it’s been called Croatia’s Tuscany for good reason. The region was part of Italy until the second world war, and it still looks and feels Italian. The road signs are all written in both Serbo-Croatian and Italian, most restaurants serve antipasti, primi, secondi e dolce, and Italian is spoken widely. Olive trees, vineyards, olive oil, pasta, truffles, hilltop towns, and pizza ovens. We came, we saw, we ate.

I asked a number of restaurant owners where they got their oven, and most said that they bought an Italian-made kit locally, and installed it themselves. I even recognized a few of the ovens by brand. The pizza oven tools also came from Italy.

Istria pizza oven

Istria pizza oven

Istria pizza

 

IstriaIstria is highlighted in red.

We knew it was coming, but you could feel the difference after we drove across the peninsula and turned south, down the coast. The Italian road signs, the pizza ovens and pasta served at every restaurant was gone. Along with our ability to easily communicate. The family can speak Italian, French and Spanish, and none of it did us any good. haha.

The good news was that we had entered the land of the wood-fired grill. Which was equally great. But more on that next.

 

Calling all Architects and Restaurant Designers (with DXF and DWG files)

We have started the process of re-publishing all of our oven drawings in CAD formats for architects and kitchen and restaurant designers — going forward our oven technical specification sheets with be available in PDF, DXF and DWG. The first models are the Modena2GFA120, 140, 160 and 180, and they are available in the the FB Library. The Modena2GOK ovens will be published shortly.

http://www.fornobravo.com/library

Modena2G

If you are an architect or designer, and you need anything additional from Forno Bravo for us to work with your plans — let us know.

This is a big step forward for us in the commercial oven marketplace. You will be seeing some additional exciting announcements from us in the commercial oven marketplace. Stay tuned.

Pizza Ovens, Photographs, and Photoshop

We had a funny interchange on the Forno Brave Facebook page a while ago, when we posted a photo of the Andiamo oven with what looked like a photoshopped background of an business park. The basic question was — “why would you Photoshop an oven in front of a business park background?” The answer to the question was, “we didn’t.” We just used Photoshop to get rid of a couple of unattractive things (like cars and power lines), and the rest of the background was real. But the overall effect was not great.

Andiamo

So a little time has gone by, and we are now focusing our marketing energy on photography. One of the first changes is that the business park background is now gone.

Stay tuned. We are going to be doing a lot of work to make the quality of our photography higher, and to give you (customers and potential customers) better images and more views of our ovens, to let you really know what they look like — which is important particularly if you can’t see one of our ovens at Forno Bravo in California, at one of our dealers, or in the wild.

Chef’s Wanted

We are looking for a few good chefs. You might have seen that we announced a new program today on Facebook, where we will be making a free Primavera oven available to professional, working chefs in exchange for some great recipes and photos for the Forno Bravo Community Cookbook.

Trout

So, if you are a pro chef who loves wood-fired cooking (or who wants to learn to love wood-fired cooking), or even better if you know a couple of great chefs in your community who would be interested — get in touch with us!

Send us an email at chefs@fornobravo.com, and we will get right back to you.