The Wood-Fired Blog

And so it begins….A Girl and Her Dragon!

Where the Dragon Quest all began

Where the Dragon Quest all began

And so it begins….

My quest began sometime in June 2014, sitting with a glass of lemonade and more family members than you could shake a pizza peel at.

Before I finish that story, some background information is in order. My name is Kylie, Kylie Holland if you want to get fancy, Kylie Kies Holland if you’re my mother and I’ve misplaced something rather important, like a young cousin (it happens to everyone, right?) But I digress.

I am 15, a sophomore in a Bay Area school that’s a hop, skip, and a train ride away from San Francisco. Last June, my father’s family decided to convene in Nantucket for a brief reunion. Upon discovering a well-written bike/hike map, my mother rented us all bicycles and announced a trip to a local brewery! Huzzah, some of us were underage, but, no matter, we were going to drink lemonade.

 First, we promptly got lost. That, however, is not important. What is important is that we persevered because, had we not, this would be a pretty non-existent blog. We found our way thanks to an exceedingly kind local (and in spite of some less than amiable truckers). Once at our destination, my sisters (Devon, 14, Piper, 12) and I discovered, to our utter joy, that the Brewery had a contract with a food truck.

Actually, what the proprietors had was way better ⎯ A pizza stand, but not just any pizza stand. Beneath that canvas shield stood Steve, owner and founder of Roamin’ Pizzeria. In case the name didn’t tip you off, he owns the only mobile pizza oven on Nantucket (not entirely surprising, given that Nantucket only has 10,000 or so inhabitants, but impressive nonetheless).

Now, this isn’t a Roamin’ Pizzeria advert, just a wholehearted endorsement of Steve (and his amazingly delicious pizza you MUST have if you ever go to Nantucket).  Alas I must move on from Nantucket and transport you back to my hometown circa July 2014, via an untested atom transference machine.  Provided we arrive in less than three pieces, and one of those pieces contains both our brain and our ears, we’ll be treated to a discussion about Quest.

   At my school Quest is a year-long independent study/passion project. Basically the school tells us to go find something we like and explore it for a year.  Last year, I recreated Henry Thoreau’s Walden Pond. I decided you couldn’t understand Thoreau unless you lived his life so I took up woodworking and built a chair, bed, table and cabin, learned to sew some clothes and learned about edible plants.  Let’s just say chickweed looks way too much like poison oak for my tastes and leave it at that.

After long deliberation, filled with no end of stress eating trying to figure out this year’s “passion,” I remembered Steve’s pizza, and decided to recreate his mobile pizza oven enterprise for myself, or at least try.

 Wait, she’s talking about pizza? You ask incredulously, finger hovering over the back button. Don’t go yet! I’m finally getting to the good parts! I write up a Quest proposal submit it to my school, and get the OK (provided I bring in a few pizza samples sometime along the way — for academic purposes only, of course).

 My first stop is the internet. I buy a few books on bread and pizza making, look up some tutorials…and that’s where the process ground to a stop. You see, I can build small cabins and make reasonably decent looking skirts (provided your eyes don’t linger on the hem), but masonry is not my strong suit. I needed help.

First I emailed Steve, who recommended the Fire Within to me. I checked out the website, looked at the workshop dates, realized it was in Boulder (and that the workshop season was over), and ended pretty much where I started.

Then, a breakthrough. My Aunt Sharon belonged to a club, and one of her fellow members had built himself a pizza oven and was known as a great cook (and a seriously nice guy).  I met my first mentor, Paul Molnar, for a couple of hours and came out of the meeting with a business card, three pages of notes, and another recommendation, Forno Bravo Ovens. Angelic choir

I was heading home from a Model United Nations conference in Monterey and Forno Bravo was on the way home.  So I set up a meeting with Timothy Cole on a Sunday at Forno Bravo’s headquarters in Salinas.  Yes, I said Sunday, even though they are only open M-F, Timothy Cole, Forno Bravo’s tremendous COO, was kind enough to meet us on his day off, for which I will be eternally grateful! 

We pulled up at Forno Bravo and went inside. The next hour and a half, well, quite frankly, it was amazing! So many pizza ovens! So many business opportunities! He walked us through Forno Bravo’s history, its showroom and its current business. He spent a ton of time giving me my first real tutorial on the mobile pizza oven business. I walked out knowing the oven I wanted, leads on trailer makers, tips on next steps, another ringing endorsement of Fire Within’s workshop and pages of notes (seriously, at this point in time, I’m probably a leading cause of deforestation). I also promised to blog my journey to help others as he and so many others are helping me.

That’s where I am now. A head full of ideas and a rough draft plan. With a little luck, a lot of work (and probably more than a few burns), I hope to start a successful venture. I’ve probably exceeded a word limit (and your patience), so I’ll end here but stay tuned for the next installment in the adventures of A Girl and Her Dragon Pizza.

A Girl and Her Dragon takes flight! – May 7th

Dragon_takes_flight

It’s official, Kylie’s Dragon has taken flight,  (still waiting for the Dragon to be named).  It started a little rocky, as debut’s often do, but, they got it straightened out fast and the launch of A Girl and her Dragon Wood Fired Pizza Catering was a fiery success.  Over a hundred attendees and students at the Nueva School’s Quest night were able to take a break from seeing projects and grab a quick bite of wood fired pizza.

I was particularly impressed with how organized the food prep and serving area’s were.  A great location between the main thoroughfare in the school’s courtyard was the perfect place for attendees to take a quick break and enjoy some free pizza.  YES, I said free, many diners asked how much, but founder / CEO Kylie was adamant that her debut would offer free pizza to all her class mates and Quest guests.  This was after all about presenting her Quest, starting a Wood Fired Pizza business.

Despite the free pizza, Kylie and her supporting cast (Paul, Al and Piper who sets the standard for a generation’s work ethic) worked long into the night to make sure everyone was fed, attendees first, then weary students worn out from their own Quest presentations.  Kylie even made sure she kept a gluten free pizza in reserve for one hungry customer.

Don’t think the Dragon can’t afford to be fed, from what I heard, A Girl and her Dragon will be busy all summer, pre-booked for several months out.

Forno Bravo was honored to be invited to attend Quest night and had an amazing time.  It was incredible seeing all the projects from these extraordinary teenagers.  Drawing upon support from their school, mentors and family, these students composed poetry, music and art; created learning aids to assist dyslexics, programmed a randomly generated world that re-constructs itself while you play the game and so many other amazing projects I could blog for a decade and not scratch the surface.  I even spoke with a young man who designed a game credit app that allows users to earn credits based on how much energy their family saves (yes, you read that correctly).

Thanks to the Holland Family for including Forno Bravo in this incredible experience.

As promised, Kylie has agreed to share her journey into business and the wood fired community.  Her first post is ready to go, but we wanted to tee it up.

Here is a quick excerpt from the Chef herself:

“And so it begins….My quest began sometime in June 2014, sitting with a glass of lemonade and more family members than you could shake a pizza peel at.

Before I finish that story, some background information is in order. My name is Kylie, Kylie Holland if you want to get fancy, Kylie Kies Holland if you’re my mother and I’ve misplaced something rather important, like a young cousin (it happens to everyone, right?) But I digress.

I am 15, a sophomore in a Bay Area school that’s a hop, skip, and a train ride away from San Francisco. Last June, my father’s family decided to convene in Nantucket for a brief reunion. Upon discovering a well-written bike/hike map, my mother rented us all bicycles and announced a trip to a local brewery! Huzzah, some of us were underage, but, no matter, we were going to drink lemonade.

First, we promptly got lost. That, however, is not important. What is important is that we persevered because, had we not, this would be a pretty non-existent blog. We found our way thanks to an exceedingly kind local (and in spite of some less than amiable truckers). Once at our destination, my sisters (Devon, 14, Piper, 12) and I discovered, to our utter joy, that the Brewery had a contract with a food truck.

Actually, what the proprietors had was way better ⎯ A pizza stand, but not just any pizza stand. Beneath that canvas shield stood Steve, owner and founder of Roamin’ Pizzeria. In case the name didn’t tip you off, he owns the only mobile pizza oven on Nantucket…..”

Stay tuned as Kylie shares her journey, success and set backs with frank commentary and colorful anecdotes.  A Girl and her Dragon is set for an incredible future, both in business and philanthropy.  Forno Bravo will be launching a re-vamped website in July to give Kylie and other contributors a front stage in our Wood Fired Community.

Dragon_long_night

Not until everyone gets pizza

A Girl and her Dragon Wood Fired Catering – Coming Soon

Mobile Casting oven for A Girl and her Dragon, plus founder Kylie

Mobile Catering oven for A Girl and her Dragon, plus founder Kylie

Kylie, as part of her Nueva School’s “Quest” program has decided to launch a Wood Fired Catering Business!  A Girl and her Dragon Wood Fired Pizza.  The Quest program give students the opportunity to pursue their own interests throughout their high school experience.

Forno Bravo is proud to support young entrepreneur Kylie as she seeks to launch her very own wood fired catering company.  A Girl and Her Dragon Pizza will be launching May 7th as part of her school’s Quest night and already has ten events lined up this summer.

Below is a picture of Kylie next to her trailer manufactured by Il Pizzaoilo in Sacramento. Il Pizzaoilo used a Casa 90 wood fired pizza oven kit to keep the trailer weight low, but provide enough volume to support small to mid sized events.

Kylie got her first taste of how wonderful the nationwide pizza oven community is at The Fire Within’s February 2015 workshop and knows the Forno Bravo blog will reach all those great people and more.

 Kylie’s first event is scheduled for May 7th in Northern California, so lets all wish her luck!

Kylie has graciously agreed to become a contributor on the Forno Bravo Blog detailing adventures into wood fired catering, so stay tuned, we will give you an update when we are closer to launching.  So please subscribe to our Blog and track Kylie’s journey.

The second picture is the Dragon, in full flight (okay, maybe day three of the cure process isn’t a fully grown dragon, but its close).  Forno Bravo will finish curing Kylie’s oven next week so stay tuned.

mobile_catering_oven_casa90

I can’t Wait!

I have been building this up for months to all my friends, family, colleagues, the gardeners, the repairman and anyone else who would listen.

Ever since I decided I wanted my own Forno Bravo wood fired pizza oven, I have been talking about all the wonderful things I am going to bake in the new oven – breads, meats, and most importantly the pizza everyone was dying to try. I spent hours researching the different dough and sauce recipes. I pored through the forums to make sure I didn’t make any rookie mistakes. 

Now, I am not a serious chef. In truth my wife handles all the cooking except manning the barbeque or the occasional baking adventure to satisfy my sweet tooth.  But this was going to be my new adventure. As I waited for my oven to ship, I spent my evenings watching the Food Network and dreaming. I envisioned awesome summer get-togethers with the whole family and elegant evenings sipping wine with friends on the trellis-covered patio. A new lifestyle that you can only dream of was going to come true. 

Once the oven arrived, the anticipation intensified. I eagerly waited as the lift-gate on the delivery truck lowered the crate to the street. The driver talked up the coolness that is wood-fired pizza ovens as I convinced him to help me push my massively heavy new toy up the incline of my driveway. Once we had it up the driveway I couldn’t wait any longer. A few minutes later we had the crate apart and we were staring at a thing of beauty. This was the golden ticket, the desired passport to the summers I had always dreamed of. 

The coming weeks were hard as I waited for weekend days when it was warm enough outside for me to spend the day tending the fire so the oven would cure properly. It is kind of like giving a child a toy and saying they have to wait for batteries. I live in Colorado and in the winter the weather is unpredictable. I can now tell you from experience that maintaining a low temperature fire, like those required to cure the oven, is a challenge when it is 20 degrees outside. I spent days bundled up running in and out of the house as I dreamt of making and tasting that first slice.

Once the oven was cured I was ready to have people over right away. I checked the weather and did a little happy dance since it was going to be 40 degrees outside that weekend and we had no other commitments. My Denver Broncos had already disappointingly been eliminated from playoffs so my Sunday afternoon was free! I invited some family over to help witness the awesomeness that was going to commence, and I spent Saturday afternoon making sure everything was in order: homemade San Marzano tomato sauce, homemade dough, 5 cheeses, 6 meat choices, herbs and drinks. There was nothing I was going to miss.

I woke up the next morning with a big smile on my face. Today was the day. I went outside and triple checked the fire starter stack I had meticulously built. I checked the dough and set out the plates. When the time came I lit the fire, and watched the flame dance across the dome. I felt the warmth of the fire on my face. I knew this was the start of something special.

I’ll save the details and challenges of that first attempt at pizza for another post, but I can tell you this much: it wasn’t perfect and that didn’t really matter. Some day I might be able to make the perfect pizza, but it’s not about perfection, it’s about the joy of the experience. The challenge. The food. The laughter of family. This summer and all subsequent summers and springs and falls will be filled with amazing gatherings of friends that center on our new oven, and I can’t wait. 

Thanks to Feedback from Dealers / Customers on our prints

To the Forno Bravo faithful, we appreciate the feedback and suggestions regarding our print layouts for our wood fired oven kits.  Many of our technical support calls over the years have been because our prints were more about oven use, then install.  That is changing!  We are in the process of updating all our drawings to provide Architectural views for Designers / Installers as well as key component parts.

We are confident that our customers and their contractors will find this new format much friendlier and, as always we welcome input / suggestions.  Just email us at support@fornobravo.com.

When each oven family’s prints are ready, we will keep you posted with Forum announcements.

The Casa and Premio series ovens are all done and ready on our website.  They are under the “Dimensions” tab on the main site.

We are working on the Giardino ovens now and then the commercial products.

For a quick peak, check out the Casa 90 print.Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 6.32.53 PM

Key improvements include:

  • A nice clean visual of the Front, Side and Top view of the oven with all the installed components layered.  This came from all our customers suggestions;
  • We added the minimum recommended foot print for the installation.  This assumes that your pizza oven install is going to use stucco and not a thick structure to enclose it.  Thank you to Home Pizzeria Ovens of Florida / New Hampshire for that suggestion.
  • Insulation and Flue specifications are clearly identified.
  • Ship weight and crate size are listed in the bottom left to make planning for a delivery easier courtesy of Outdoor Pizza Ovens in Canada.
  • Minimum clearances to combustibles are clearly identified in the top view thanks to The Arch in North Carolina;
  • Hearth specification is listed for convenience so you don’t have to refer to the install guide when planning;
  • A Decorative Facade Allowances chart is included to give you an estimate on how different appearances may increase your foot print.

Designing the World’s Finest Pizza Oven into your home keeps getting easier.

Thanks again and have a great Spring planning your project!

Forno Bravo Operations Team

 

Napoli oven in Mobile Catering Application

This photo was recently shared with us by our friends with Concession Nation in Florida.

Another mobile catering trailer built using a Napoli 120 wood oven.

http://www.fornobravo.com/commercial_pizza_oven/napoli.html

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Concession Nation’s Roma style Mobile Catering oven

This oven was produced by our friends in Ft Lauderdale – Concession Nation.

The oven installed is from our Roma Product line, modified and installed into Concession Nation’s unique mobile catering trailer.

To learn more about their Roma style mobile catering solution, click here.

http://www.concessionnation.com/concession-nation-shop-concession-trailers.html#italian-cuisine

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 4.58.18 PM

Concession_Roma

 

 

New Showroom in Salinas Facility is done

Hello,

Our showroom in Salinas is up to date and better than ever! We will be shooting a walk through video and updating our website photos, but below is a quick preview for 2015!

Not depicted, but available in our Showroom:  Professional 110, Primavera 60, Roma 120 with Gas Assist capable of full demonstration by appointment.

Happy Holidays

Residential Assembled ovens

Residential Assembled ovens Left to Right Artigiano on custom Cucina stand, Toscana 90 Hipped and Andiamo 70

Napolino 70 with custom Forno Bravo Logo tiled

Napolino 70 with custom Forno Bravo Logo tiled

Casa 80 showing the different stages of installation

Casa 80 showing the different stages of installation

Bella Medio 28 on Pizza Island with Pizza Kit ingredients

Bella Medio 28 on Pizza Island with Pizza Kit ingredients

Casa 90 Kit, our most popular unit

Casa 90 Kit, our most popular unit