Mike and Susan Share Their Pizza Oven Project
Pizza oven projects are so varied, but there’s the common thread of passion and in this story that Mike shared with us you will notice a great deal of creativity as well. Since they live in Northern California where it can rain quite a bit, Mike constructed a wooden cover to place in front of the arch to keep moisture out of the oven. Also, he placed a shelf under the counter to keep the long handled oven tools.
Mike: “We just finished our wood fired oven project, and are enjoying the wonderful taste of pizza and bread, and look forward to creating a whole range of other goodies.”
“We had been thinking of building an oven for quite some time. My family is from Greece, and in our many trips we had seen a lot of wood fired ovens, including the old dilapidated one at my grandfathers house. Last year, we finally decided to build one, and after researching several manufacturers, we settle on the Elisa 90 from LA Ovenworks. It seems Anna and I speak the same Mediterranean food language, so we went with her suggestion.”
“What I thought to be a weekend project turned out taking almost a year to construct. Our big problem was the weather . We live on the coast in northern California and this was an extraordinarily rainy year. We followed the construction steps outlined in the book, and then went with our own design for the enclosure. I originally wanted it to look like a little Greek church with a blue domed roof, but because of weather considerations, we settle for a more traditional look. We super-insulated the cavity with vermiculite and some old insulation, so it holds the heat very well.”
“Susan came up with the tile design, and with help from friends, she figured out how to do it. She loved getting to show off some of her best agates. Again, it took a long time because of the weather. We bought all of our materials locally, and got a lot of advice from local builders, even though no one had built one of these before. Everyone who has seen it is thrilled.”
“As with anything, there is a learning curve, and we have a lot of friends who are willing to taste our experiments. The oven is right off our deck and we look forward to many years of good food and company.”
“I have posted a slide show of the whole process on FLICKR.”
Thank you Mike and Susan for telling your story with great photos! It made my day.
Buon appetito from all of us at Los Angeles Ovenworks!