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As I walk in the door, rhythmic tunes of Bob Marley & the Wailers plays lightly in the kitchen, and fresh pita dough is spinning to the beat – like the room has come to life all on its own. The smell of buttery goodness, and counters filled with a collage of fresh veggies waiting to be simmered in olive oil, makes me feel as though I entered a main street bakery in a two-story home.

Cate is busy preparing for delivery to a local foods market, and I stopped in to get a few wood fired baking tips (and to help out just in case she needed a taste tester).

Cate’s passion for baking certainly ties in well with the family business of designing and building Le Panyol wood fired ovens. As a member of the staff, I’ve been able to experience the best of the best in wood fired baking, from pastries early in the morning, pizzas on our lunch breaks, and occasionally sizzling steaks on the hearth as the sun sets after a long day.

I initially thought, there has to be a secret behind this incredible food – the roasted veggies, meats, pizzas, and breads are like nothing I’ve ever tasted. Maybe she used some exotic spices, or family recipes passed down from generations? When I asked, Cate revealed that many of her secrets lay in the oven. All you need are a few simple ingredients¦

1. Salt & pepper
2. Garlic & butter
3. Olive oil & garlic
4. Any simple herbs – Rosemary, Thyme, Sage or Taragon

That’s it. These basic ingredients are Cate’s go-to’s, and are sure to tempt the natural flavors and goodness out of any food you’re preparing.

There are certainly more tips for cooking with a live fire, so stay tuned for more cooking with Cate!

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Maine Wood Heat