courses – tapas, Italian, Indian, Thai – lots of other cooking schools do them and we need all the time we can get to satisfy the demand for our big three.
HJ - We also have a series of great cheffy friends coming in to do days with us including Peter Greig from Pipers Farm, Mitch Tonks of the Seahorse in Dartmouth, Romy Gill of Romy’s Kitchen and food writer Charlotte Pike. They’ll be running days in their specialities – meat, fish, Indian cooking and smoking - but we’ll also be using the wood fired ovens with them; can’t wait!
What WFO do you cook on at the school?
DJ – we have 2 Bushman Ovens made by Jay Emery at Dingley Dell. These are the main ones we’ve use at the school since we started teaching WFO cooking, but with so many different manufacturers getting into the game we are also diversifying so we now have Morso cast iron ovens as well. These don’t have the thermal mass of the Bushmans but are more mobile, simple and lots of fun. We get bookings to teach at private houses and restaurants all over the country so as well as the Bushmans and Morsos, I’ve worked with homemade clay and brick ovens, Esse Firestones, Valorianis, Stonebake, Alfas and plenty more.
Pizza... what else?
HJ – Well one of the first things we teach on our courses is that the first rule of wood fired cooking is that the ovens aren’t pizza ovens, they are ovens. This means that yes you can cook amazing pizzas in them but you can cook anything in them – fish, roasts, brunches, braises, stews, cake,
pastries, breads, stocks, puddings and meringues. For generations this was the only way to cook so you can literally do anything in them, you just have to work out how it’ll happen. Our first book – The Wood Fired Oven Cook Book – is now in its 6th reprint and has over 80 recipes, most of them not pizzas!