The Wood-Fired Blog

The Fire Within Mobile Pizza Conference – Day 2

Oct 20, 2015Posted by Kylie H


The Fire Within mobile pizza Conference, attended by guest blogger, Kylie before the dragon wagon was born.

Day 2 of 3 of the pizza workshop.

I will not lie and tell you that I didn’t wake up to the thrice darned alarm, playing soft, happy and entirely situation appropriate music, and regret staying up past 11 the night before. The 7:20 am wake up time hurts to remember (all you morning people are laughing now, to which I say ¾ your parents let you have coffee). It was, however, well worth it, I am at a conference to make pizza after all. (Best. Sentence. Ever.)

My father and I donned our spiffy new chef’s coats, beautifully embroidered with Fire Within, and descended from the 7th floor all the way down to the ground level. Day 1 of the seminar proper, get excited Kylie. Hands were sweaty, mom’s spaghe ¾  no wait that’s Eminem. Seriously though, I gripped my binder so hard I created an impromptu tourniquet. Did I mention I get nervous meeting new people sometimes?

Some kind, generous, (and probably morning-oriented) soul has laid out a fine repast of bread, pastries, and fruit. I grab some fruit and a cinnamon roll, taking my seat in a sprawl of crumbs and pristine fabric.

Over breakfast we do a scavenger hunt among our peers, trying to figure out who can do a cartwheel, who skydives, who speaks multiple languages…etc. I win, (well, technically my dad does, but he gives me his sheet in favor of another pastry), so I get an amazing Fire Within cutting board. (Can I stay here forever? Screw Disneyland, I like Denver).

Joe, the original founder of Fire Within, is up first. He begins his presentation by trying to sell us a Malibu timeshare. Now since we live within 7-hour driving distance of Malibu, my father and I elect for just a one-week buy-in, signing the contract with a mutual promise to never tell Mom. (yes, Joe was joking, but it loosened us up for the wealth of information he was about to share).

I’ll skip over the specifics of the presentation (you want the info, I highly recommend you sign up for the conference:, but suffice it to say I’m silently regretting not signing up for more workshops, so much information, so little time!)

We go outside for lunch, where Brava, a Fire Within affiliated pizza business, serves us hot, delicious pies. I can be frequently heard remarking that I’d better eat these while I still have the metabolism for it as I stuff an entire pizza into my mouth. (So worth it.)

When we walk (or in my case roll) back inside, Russ the Health Department Ninja, gives me a folder with all the licensing requirements he’s dug up for San Mateo County. I am, quite frankly (and yet again), blown away at the dedication and support of everyone here, and decide that my stars must be particularly lucky (I knew sacrificing that goat was going to pay off).

Instead of going to the Spruce room we cross the hall into a space filled with dough making equipment. Flour, mixers, yeast, and measuring cups…

A short lecture on “proofing” or how to get your dough to rise in precisely the right way, a Q&A, and then we’re off! Making dough, watching the 40-quart mixer churn collection of grain and moisture into a delicious smelling concoction before pulling it out and rolling 7-ounce chucks into perfect little dough balls! Alright, the demonstration produces perfect little dough balls, I produce something akin to a child’s first experiment with play dough the first few times, but in this case practice really does make perfect (and like a child with play dough, I feel absurdly proud when I’m done).

I also drop a dough ball on the ground, leading to the obligatory floor protein jokes, but who really remembers that? *Nervous laugh* While we’re being honest, I also eat a little bit of the delicious marriage of yeast, flour and water, (after we finish the balls. Please, I’m not a barbarian).

The rest of the day slips by quickly, a few more presentations and then suddenly it’s 5:30 and we’re released into the wilds of Denver, like gluten-loving wolves or…something. (It was my first 9-hour work day, be kind.)

My dad decides that we should experience the glory of downtown Denver. Within five minutes of walking around town, we are asked if we “want to buy some weed” by a suspiciously wide-eyed man in a beanie. I understand that having your salespeople use your product increases your trustworthiness in the eyes of customers, but there are exceptions to the rule.

Siri recommends an alehouse, but after a couple whiffs of cheap perfume (and an age limit), that plan is scrapped and we go to another restaurant. The onion soup is great, the burger superb, and I learn several valuable investor tips from my father (Hint: Buy Real Estate). Of course all good things must come to end, so we paid our bill and head back home for a good night’s sle- (we stayed up past 12, so please nobody show this to my mom).



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