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Rachel Recommends

Rachel RecommendsOn Sunday 10th April 2016, we were delighted to feature in an article in the Sunday Independent by the well known Irish celebrity chef, food writer and TV personality, Rachel Allen.  

Catex 2015

Paolo Spadaro smiles through the basil

In February of 2015 we launched the business at Catex. This is Ireland's premier biannual showcase for the food service industry.

We enjoyed a positive reaction to what we had on display and managed to cook a few pizzas too. In attendance and to ensure best behaviour were Viola Valoriani and Paulo Spadaro of La Cinque Stagioni (premier "oo" flour suppliers) pizzaiolo extrordinare.

What Design?

This is entirely up to your own imagination. Whether you opt for a simple freestanding dome shape or a complete outdoor kitchen installation, the choice is yours! Google has hundreds of images to help stimulate your creativity. Repeated heating and cooling, settlement and damp to dry cycling can lead to superficial cracks appearing in the final finish. This is normal in an oven finished as a dome shape with a skim coat of outdoor oven cement. If surface cracks concern you it may be worth considering an alternative finish for your oven.

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What about Irish weather?

Refractory materials do not like getting wet. It is important to ensure that your oven’s refractory elements are protected from the elements. This includes any vermiculite concrete, the refractory dome, ceramic blanket and high temperature mortars. It’s a good idea to cover them if they won’t be used for a while….particularly during the damp winter months. It’s worth considering the additional protection that a roof structure would provide too. So!

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Why not build my own?

Many have tried to build wood fired ovens from 1st principles using refractory bricks, cement, sand even clay, horsehair and sawdust in some cases! This invariably results in questionable degrees of success in terms of oven lifespan, heat retention and cooking performance. If you’re going to invest the time, effort, aggravation and money in such a venture maybe it’s worth pausing to consider the only credible alternative that makes taking on such a long- winded, pain-filled approach less attractive.

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