Photo by Lynn Craig, Cookie Baker Lynn
This post was taken down by Blogger due to technical issues, I am so glad that I can repost and bring you our adventures in Seattle...I apologize to anyone who has already commented or read this article previously.
In 2004/2005 Don Hogeland of Sortachef in Seattle built his woodfired oven, firing it up in Spring and ambitiously entertaining throughout the summer. Fast forward to 2011 and he has perfected the oven pizza as well as many other treats cooked by the same method. One day soon you may find Don teaching classes on how to build your own backyard woodfire oven! Selfishly I would love it if Don and his beautiful wife Cathy, The Salad Queen, would teach cooking classes in their home based on their woodfire oven. I would sign up! How often does a person get the opportunity to bake pizza in an outdoor wood oven? Nothing is more intimate, or more effective at creating friendships, than cooking and sharing meals together and a wood fire oven is a sure conversation starter.
Don and his wife Cathy are masters in the kitchen from making their own fennel and chicken sausage for a meat lovers pizza to a specially prepared Spelt pizza dough for a friend attending the dinner who has allergies to wheat. Visit his site for his infamous pizza recipes and many fascinating travel stories and recipes.
Burrata and Roasted Peppers Crostini
Pizza in the Making
Photo from Sortachef
I met Don a few years ago when I arranged for a group of Seattle area bloggers to have a tour of Pike Place Market with Jan Marie Johnson of Seattle Bites. Since that time we have tried to get together when I am in Seattle over dinner. In the fall Don suggested a woodfire oven dinner at his own home with an Italian theme. We were all aboard and it gave us the opportunity to meet spouses and the rest of the family. We noshed on everything from antipasto to reindeer coldcuts from cannoli cake to tonnato stuffed pepppers with old friends and new.
My first experience with a woodfire oven was on the island of Kea in Greece at Keartisinal. An outdoor kitchen is a must in the Greek climate and Costas had built his oven from the ground up. Don's backyard oven takes the process several steps further with a professional oven that plays a very important role in all of their outdoor entertaining. Don says, "The woodfire oven has become a focal point for our entertainment and has changed my cooking and baking forever!"
Traditional wood burning ovens are suitable for a wide range of cooking - hearth breads, roasting, drying, smoking, Tandoori, stews, soups, not forgetting genuine Neapolitan pizza! This is because a wood fired oven quickly reaches an initial temperature of over 900F and cools very slowly without further firing. This makes a wide range of cooking possible, even into next day.
Thank you Don and Cathy for sharing your stories, your knowledge and your lovely home, and for making this Canadian feel more than welcome. Wood Fired Cooking is a really enjoyable experience, you can watch your food cook, while socialising and create a focal point like no other. I sliced, I diced, and ate my way to culinary nirvana and loved every minute of it!!!! The photos speak for themselves!
See what we have to say:
Don Sortachef - Spelt Pizza
Lynn, Cookie Baker Lynn - Fabulous Foodie Feast
Don't forget dessert!
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