History of Le Panyol Wood Fired Ovens

The Past…

The roots of Le Panyol lie in Larnage-the land of White Clay, or “Terre Blanche” as it’s known in French culinary lore. Here at the gateway to Provence in “le Drôme,” the story of the world’s only 100% organic wood fired oven core begins with the establishment of a family business.

1840 : The House of Terrassier

The Terrassier family, owners of the “Terre Blanche” quarry at Larnage, first began producing earthenware cooking products and Terre Blanche “brick” ovens (the grandfathers of Le Panyol) at “Tain l’Hermitage” in 1840.

1904: The Tradition

The family business enters the 20th century with a new name, Fournier Terrassier, following the marriage of Paule Marthe Terrassier to Joseph Alfred Fournier. Ovens constructed of the Terre Blanche bricks become the standard throughout France in the best boulangeries and patisseries, among them the world famous Poilâne Bakery.

1964: And on to Fayol

With no direct descendants in the Fournier-Terrassier line, Mr. FAYOL assumes the responsibility of ensuring that the legacy of the wood fired oven par excellence lives on.

Now an enduring tradition of nearly 150 years, the methods of cultivating and producing of the Terre Blanche continue, passing from generation to generation intact. In the 1980’s, the distinct “orange wedge” Le Panyol oven design was born of a desire to make the quality of a Terre Blanche oven available to bakers and gourmets the world over. The modular form allows for ease of shipping and assembly, and is ideal for all applications—from commercial restaurants to the outdoor kitchens of enterprising do-it-yourselfers.

2000: The Tradition Endures

In the new millennium, Le Panyol continues to be the only business in the world to offer a 100% organic, all natural, time-tested wood fired oven. We guard the Terre Blanche and the secrets of our production process vigilantly in order to maintain the integrity of the product.

In 2006 Le Panyol was awarded the title of E.P.V.—Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (or Living Heritage Company) by the French government for the preservation of a traditional craft in the spirit of excellence. This prestigious acknowledgment, bolstered by modern scientific knowledge of the unique thermal properties of the Terre Blanche, secures Le Panyol’s place not only in France’s rich culinary history, but also in its future.