PIZZA OVENS

The per­fect flour to make the per­fect pizza

Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine - - Contents - BY BRIE JAR­RETT - DUN­DAS, ON

Cana­di­ans can claim a few culi­nary anom­alies as their own. Clam­ato juice for our Bloody Cae­sars, pou­tine, and Hawai­ian pizza are a few that come to mind. Imag­ine… Hawai­ian pizza be­ing hailed as our own. Why didn’t the Hawai­ians think of it? Be­cause it’s pizza. And we DO love our pizza here in the great white north.

As the out­door kitchen be­comes in­creas­ingly more pop­u­lar as an ex­ten­sion of our liv­ing space, wood fired pizza ovens are also en­joy­ing a huge re­vival. With mod­ern tech­nol­ogy pro­duc­ing ovens that are user friendly, sleeker in de­sign, and bet­ter in­su­lated (re­duc­ing heat up times), fam­i­lies across North Amer­ica are ex­per­i­ment­ing with pizza in their own back­yards.

On a re­cent trip to Canada, Ital­ian born and trained Piz­zaiolo Chef Tom­maso Da­m­asco found him­self train­ing the staff at a lo­cal On­tario bou­tique pizze­ria, in the fine art of au­then­tic pizza craft­ing. He de­scribes him­self as a mad sci­en­tist. “I love pizza!” he says in his charm­ing Ital­ian ac­cent. “I dream about it! I would get up at three in the morn­ing to make dough. I’m sure my wife thought I was out of my mind,” he laughs.

Da­m­asco, orig­i­nally an un­der-wa­ter welder, met his wife Neah Kelly in Italy and even­tu­ally they moved to the States. Da­m­asco as­pired to be­come a restau­ra­teur, but “I’m a per­fec­tion­ist,” he says. “Any­thing I’m go­ing to do, I’m go­ing to do well.” So, he went back to Italy to learn from the masters.

Soon af­ter he com­pleted his train­ing, he opened his first restau­rant, Da­m­asco’s Pizze­ria & Spaghet­te­ria which was a re­sound­ing suc­cess and this year he launched Juliet Ris­torante in Charleston, South Carolina, where he lives with his wife, and three chil­dren.

Now a con­sul­tant, Da­m­asco helps restau­rants cre­ate menus and craft kitchen sys­tems. Pizza, of course, is his spe­cialty and he teaches the gen­tle art of mak­ing the per­fect dough. Pivetti 00 flour from Mo­dena in North­ern Italy is his se­cret weapon. High qual­ity, sim­ple in­gre­di­ents are key to true Ital­ian style food.

There are cur­rently a wide va­ri­ety of au­then­tic pizza ovens avail­able in the Cana­dian mar­ket­place. An oven that pro­duces high tem­per­a­tures is key to pro­duc­ing the best pizza pos­si­ble. Da­m­asco rec­om­mends a wood fired pizza oven for the best re­sults, but do your home­work and de­cide which suits your life­style and bud­get best.

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