The Fire Within Mobile Pizza Conference – Day 3Oct 28, 2015Posted by Kylie H
The Fire Within mobile pizza Conference, attended by guest blogger, Kylie before the dragon wagon was born.
Day 3 of 3 of the pizza workshop.
Another breakfast of cinnamon buns and my new favorite fruit: pineapple before a short lecture on branding and the event we’ve all been waiting for: trust falls. No, seriously, it’s pizza time!
We get a quick lesson from some Brava employees, who make it look easy—too easy—after my experience with the dough balls, I’m mildly concerned. It’s one thing to fumble a 30 cent lump of dough, quite another to mess up an entire pizza.
A chef named Joe, my father and I line up to make delicious, delicious pizza. My first assignment is to stretch dough. Easy enough, though the sharp points of my nails threaten to break the thin crust (eh, nothing a little duck tape won’t fix, right?), and I keep making them an inch or two too small.
By far my favorite task is topping the pizzas. I apply either red or white sauce to the stretched crusts before selecting my adornments. Pepperoni and mushroom on red? Why not? Mozzarella and basil on a sea of garlic-infused oil? Go right ahead! The possibilities are limitless (49 max if you use every option, the math part of my brain mutters. Shh shh shh, comes an answering whisper from the rest of the mind, and a garlic-scented cloth is clamped down over a constant stream of equations.)
The final rotation puts me in front of the fire. I am a mitigated disaster. Mitigated, because the ever fantastic Dave steps in to rescue the poor pizzas from a fiery death, but a disaster nonetheless as I push pizzas into the ashes, burn crusts, poke holes, etc…
Who cares? They smell (and taste) delicious. It begins to snow, adding a surreal aura to the entire experience. The flakes hit the burning metal mouth of the oven and dissolve into tiny little puddles before evaporating, spiraling upwards as steam once again. (An authentic demonstration of phase changes my chemistry class could never replicate so elegantly.) Despite the cold I remain warm, perhaps a product of my enthusiasm, more likely a result of my aforementioned spot in front of the fire.
The smoke stings my eyes, provoking an upwelling of tears that drip down my face and provide temporary relief before another misplaced gust directs the miasma straight at me. I figure, however, that if I do this enough I can be both Pavlov and his dogs. The sight/smell of a fire will make me cry, which will keep the smoke out of my eyes!
Scene: A Family reunion. Someone’s just tossed a log on the fire, the smoke wafts through the room.
My grandmother: Kylie, why are you cry-
Me: SOMEONE PASS ME A PIZZA PEEL! WHERE’S THE PREP TABLE?
… Ok so maybe Pavlovian behaviorism will have to be subdued if I want to continue to be admitted to family events.
I improve over time, manipulating the pizzas with ever greater skill, gaining confidence, all the while as a tiny voice echoes in the back of my head (it sounds like my mother, my father, my teachers, like Ajith and Hazel and an ever expanding list of amazing and wonderful people who are part of the mobile pizza oven family): you can do this.
And you know what? Cheesy as it is, I think I can.