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Customer of the Month: David Brehm

For decades, our woodfired ovens have become the bona fide connection to time-honored traditional cooking that we embellished during past generations, and have delighted many families from all around the world.

As the General Manager of Authentic Pizza Ovens, I've been privileged to meet so many wonderful people throughout the years and share in the joy that our ovens bring to their families and friends.

From those making their footprint in their local communities serving up the tastiest wood-fired pizza and savory BBQ from their food trucks and brick-and-mortar business settings to families enhancing their backyard space captivating an atmosphere for their friends and family to bond unlike any other.

To say that I passionately enjoy engaging with our customers is a huge understatement and is one of the reasons I strive to reach beyond the beautiful photos and conversations to experience the happiness that our ovens perpetuate with our customers together.

Nothing brings family and friends closer together than family-style cooking, and it was an utmost honor to experience the authenticity of cooking in our Lisboa Stone-Finish Premium oven with our very own happy customer, David Brehm. 

David lives in Greensboro, NC, and is a retiree from Hewlett-Packard Company. He now spends his time enhancing his home, restoring old espresso machines, and dabbling into any fun and unique ventures he can.

Originally from San Diego, CA, he and his wife Kelly enjoy spending time with their children, Chase and Sydney, their family and friends, visiting their home in Costa Rica, and traveling as much as they can. 

My first impression pulling up to their home was how charming it was - A beautiful gem nestled inside the historical area of his town tucked away from the busy mainstream all around.

As inviting and charismatic as their home truly was, I must admit, their backyard space was by far my favorite part of their homestead. I was immediately drawn to their Lisboa Stone oven as it was undeniably the main focal point, adding character and accentuating the modern touches and charming historical vibes of their entire backyard patio.

I have always enjoyed living vicariously through our customers and helping them pick the best oven that ultimately complements their homes, however, I was overwhelmingly amazed at how perfectly this oven, specifically, enhanced their entire setup.

The rich shade of blues and the staggering natural brown tones of stone brought together the red shade of their brick home, the modern vinyl touches, and their wood pergola so beautifully- They truly could not have picked a better oven!

I always love seeing one of our ovens set up in their home. But walking in to see David's for the first time setup, outside the crate, and burning bright was breathtaking, to say the least.

The wow factor of its taller door opening was incredible, and the ambiance from the fire was mesmerizing and created the coziest vibes just like a fireplace!

They purchased the Hybrid model, meaning it has a hole precut in the floor on the inside of the oven to accommodate a burner. While we opted to cook with wood for the true authentic wood-fired experience, it was an exciting bonus to see the versatility and functionality of the oven in action!

I enjoy cooking in my own Maximus Portable pizza oven, however, I have a newfound appreciation for the authenticity of our Traditional brick and mortar ovens following my experience cooking alongside David.

Our ovens are truly one-of-a-kind and bring to life the simplicity of traditional-style wood-fired cooking that can only be truly appreciated when experiencing for oneself.

Every aspect of the oven is authentic- Made with quality and refractory materials and uniquely designed so that the fire rolls perfectly around the inside brick dome evenly distributing heat directly to the oven floor.

The comfort from the crackling of the wood and the overall experience of cooking in the oven in all its magnificence connect you to simpler times that aren't comparable to the modern-style cooking of our world today.

I was entranced in the camaraderie of everyone talking about the golf game that was playing on the big-screen TV and candidly catching up on life, the boys playing sports in the backyard, the laughter, and all the fun of everyone bonding together.

We enjoyed a buffet of a variety of fresh cheese and grapes, bread, crackers, and dips. It was so much fun watching David teach his daughter, Sydney, how to roll out her pizza dough, and it was a blast experimenting with the abundance of toppings.

From Tuscan chicken sausage, pepperoni, peppers, onions, shitake mushrooms, arugula, and basil, there was a bit of something for everyone's pallet.

David, a connoisseur of foods and wood-fired cooking, even shared tips and tricks with me on maneuvering the wood and maintaining the oven temperature to achieve those perfect leopard spots on the crust serving up pizza that will melt in your mouth every time.

Even their adorable furbabies enjoyed testing out a few bites here and there! 

Some of my favorite times are from when I've hosted pizza nights and barbeques with my family and friends in my pizza oven. We always have the best time gathering around the fire and unwinding from the hustle and bustle of life, and watching our grandson run around playing and laughing.

Related: How to Throw a Pizza Party

We especially enjoy the Summer season when the weather is warmer and you can spend more time outdoors watching the sunset. However, to be in the company of another family and partake in the joy and happiness that one of our ovens brought to them will forever be one of my most fond memories.

Of all the wealth of knowledge that David has, he shared with me about his amazing opportunity of living in France for a few years, and how the French don't work to live or wait until they retire to travel and enjoy life.

They make the time to enjoy life around their work- Some advice that I believe we could all gain to be reminded of from time to time in our busy lives today.

Thank you, David, Kelly, Sydney, Chase, and your family and friends for openly inviting me into your home and allowing me to be part of your pizza night! 

Useful Tips when Cooking in Your Traditional Wood-fired Pizza Oven

Tip #1. Be sure to use well-seasoned hardwoods such as apple, mesquite, hickory, pecan, cherry, and oak. Avoid using softer woods as these can be harder to maintain in terms of temperature and can put off resinous and be overall detrimental to your oven over time.

Tip #2. Be sure that your wood is dry and is not wet and does not contain a lot of moisture. Wet wood can lead to performance issues and prevent your oven from reaching optimum temperature.

Tip #3. Use a butane torch and well-seasoned kindling wood to start your fire. It is very important that you do not use chemically treated wood, wood-containing accelerants, or other harsh chemicals and accelerants when starting your fire. 

Tip #4. When you start your fire, be sure to spread your wood at least 12" to 14" apart and stack it in a tic-tac-toe-like fashion so that it is wide enough and you are heating more floor space.

This way you are covering a larger area and when the fire turns to coals it will maintain heat better. It is the coals from the fire that create the heat rather than the fire itself. 

Tip #5. Be sure to keep your chimney flu open when first starting a fire so you can adjust the airflow as needed. Avoid closing and latching your oven door completely when first starting your fire as this is when the oven is at its hottest and extreme temperatures can potentially damage your door. 

Tip #6. Drag the coals back to the center of your oven floor when you are taking a break, or ever so often, as it will help to keep your tiles hotter longer. 

Tip #7. Wrap a damp cloth around the end of your oven brush and brush over the tiles after you've moved your fire back. The moisture from the cloth helps to seal in the heat of the tiles longer.

You can also do this occasionally to clean up any excessive flour and cornmeal from the dough between pizzas.

Related: Simple Ways to Care for your Outdoor Wood-fired Oven




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