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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!

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • christine says:

    hello, Cate,
    wonderful pictures, great looking food! I am planning for a wood fired oven and love your Le Panyol model –their website is very limited and I wondered if you could point me in the right direction via link or local distributor contact info as I’d like to obtain same or similar –I’m in NY.
    All best, and many thanks-

    • amyclark says:

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for your compliments! We are actually the exclusive North American importer of Le Panyol wood fired ovens, and would be happy to help. I’ll go ahead and send you our brochures via email, including information on the ovens you see here. You can also visit our Le Panyol wood fired oven page, which features all of our residential and commercial models:

      Thanks again, Christine. I’ll be in touch soon with more information for you!

  • Loretta says:

    I am also interested in a Le Panyol oven and I have registered for a workshop at Stone Turtle next spring to have a hands on experience cooking in one before making a final decision. I am planning on an interior residential installation but with the oven built on the exterior and opening into the kitchen. I could use some feedback on these plans.

    • amyclark says:

      Hi Loretta,

      It sounds like you’re off to a good start! Taking a class at Stone Turtle is the perfect way to try a Le Panyol first hand before making any decisions. If you have some plans you’d like to pass along to our masons, please don’t hesitate. We’ve done installations like the one you described before, and we’d be happy to offer our feedback anytime.

      Thanks for your interest, Loretta. We’ll look forward to hearing from you!

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