On Friday of this week we will be posting a new Guest Column by Michael Hanson, a wood-fired baker, living and working in the UK. In his column, he tells of his transition from a career as a serious, professional, third generation baker to becoming an artisan, committed to cooking with fire as a way of reconnecting with the sacredness of it all. It's a fascinating piece. While Pizza Quest is not only about cooking with fire, but is really more about the celebrating of artisans and artisanship in any number of areas (including those who bake using any kind of heat source, as we discussed in last week's Peter's Blog), Michael's guest column got me thinking again about the growing movement of wood-fired bakers and cooks, and how this niche has become an important trend (as opposed to a fad). I call the wood-fired oven community fire-freaks, and I
mean that in the best possible way, and I have a feeling that many of you reading this would consider yourselves part of that sub-culture, whether you have a wood-fired oven (aka, WFO) or not.
So, I wanted to bring your attention to a section of the Forno Bravo website that some of you may not know about. First of all, Forno Bravo is our host and web-site partner in Pizza Quest.com, but it's important to know that the content on Pizza Quest is totally generated by me, Brad English, and Jeff Michael, along with our guest columnists. Forno Bravo (FB from here on) does not exercise any editorial control over what we publish here, but we feel so simpatico with what FB stands for, and we've had such great success baking in their ovens, that I have no qualms in singing their praises here.
That said, if you go to http://www.fornobravo.com/via/via.html you will see a nice listing of forty international wood-fired caterers--businesses that cook with fire and can bring the food, and the oven, to you for private events. Our friends at FB tell us that if you are such a caterer and are not already listed and want to be, to contact them via their website, and for anyone to do the same if you have any questions regarding this growing category. Of course, if you want to see an example of one style of mobile rigs, we already have two Instructional Videos up on our site that use them, with another video slated for posting soon.
The most exciting thing about all of this, from my perspective, is that each of these catering operations is yet another example of the growing artisan community. The influence of this community is not to be taken lightly--it is a movement that signifies more than just a way to cook food; it is a call to a way of life that is closer to the earth, elemental, and wholesome. If you can, check out these caterers and see if you might want to bring them in for your events and, by so doing, help spread the word.
We'll continue to explore the implications of artisanship in future blog postings and I welcome your comments here to keep the conversation going. And don't forget to check back on Friday for Michael Hanson's Guest Column--I think you will really appreciate it.