Customer of the Month: February 2023
Dating back to ancient times, earth ovens became the footprint of the evolution of wood-fired ovens as we know them today.
Authentic Pizza Ovens have become requisite for embracing the art of old-world wood-fired cooking for people today. For decades, our artisans have encompassed the history of these culinary traditions, hand-making, and crafting with quality natural materials making ovens that are without a doubt among the finest and most authentic in the world.
One of the most universal languages for uniting different heritages of people together from all around the world is food. For many people, food interests are one of the most influential factors in deciding where to travel for exploring different cultures.
While larger attractions and well-known popular experiences are enticing, it's usually the local culture and experiences that are the most memorable. The evolution of food exchanges between different countries and their cuisines is what makes the culinary world so rich and diverse.
Meet Ryan who owns and operates a 3-acre homestead in Hawaii with his wife, Katheryn, who shares a passion for their local food scene and everything coconuts! They are the proud owners of Coconut Information.
Follow them in IG: @coconutinformation
Read more about how their Maximus Portable Oven, in true fashion, has enhanced their love for food and their experiences on the farm in the most authentic way.
Where are you from and a little background information about you?
My name is Ryan and I am originally from Fresno, California, and have been living my best life in Hawaii for the last 20 years. I've always wanted to live where people vacationed, so I relocated to Hawaii after college and started working in the hospitality industry.
However, it didn't take long for my focus to shift toward the local food scene and sustainability movement.
Today, my wife, Katheryn, and I own and operate a 3-acre homestead where we teach cooking classes with a focus on coconuts!
It has been a blissful journey that started 15 years ago when we stopped using all imported products and started a veggie garden that began our life-changing adventure.
We worked with many plants along the way and found the coconut to be the most sustainable, so we began teaching our Maui residents how hardy of a food source coconuts truly are.
Our goal was to make each meal 100% Maui grown and we share that passion with our local residents and visitors from all around.
The local food scene here is incredible from the locally grown plants and fruits to the local deer and fish.
We enjoy surfing when we are not teaching classes and tending to the homestead, and now that we have our Maximus Portable Oven, we enjoy spending our time experimenting with food and cooking all our favorite dishes.
We embrace authenticity and our oven has accentuated our lifestyle on the farm, wood-fired cooking is truly as authentic as it gets!
Which oven did you choose and why did you choose an Authentic Pizza Oven?
I had always dreamed of adding a wood-fired element to our classes but never imagined I'd have the time to devote to building one.
We started our search to find the perfect oven we'd love and that would fit our lifestyle. A family that took our cooking class showed us some pictures of the oven they bought from Authentic Pizza Ovens and we were immediately intrigued, it was exactly what we were looking for!
We chose the Maximus Portable Oven because it fits the space we had available and we knew that we'd be able to install it ourselves due to its relatively lightweight.
We were also blown away by how easy it was to order online and have it shipped to Hawaii in just weeks. Not to mention, it was not as expensive as we thought it would be, as it can be quite costly shipping to the island.
We were impressed by Amber Kennedy's amazing customer service and the level of support she offered along the way.
There is something to be said about the Maximus oven, it surpasses our bbq by a long shot! It is very time-conservative and when you cut, dry, and split your own wood, you can appreciate its efficiency.
I'd say that we use a third to a fourth of the wood we used when grilling on the bbq!
Also, I use my pizza peel to pull out the glowing coals when I'm done cooking and dump them into a big metal pot filled with water to extinguish them, then use the extinguished embers as biochar in our garden beds! It's incredible!
Did you build your setup or have someone else do it?
We built a really cool setup for our oven. We already had an outdoor pergola, but we didn't want to lose any square footage.
I hand dug into a sloped bank alongside our outdoor pergola, then hired a friend who farmed out and poured us a concrete retaining wall/firewood rack to hold both the back of the slope and mount the oven on.
We ended up pouring 32 bags of concrete, built walls on three sides, added a hole for the vent, and put a roof over it. The best part is that the oven sits up high so I can see fire/pizzas without bending over. The build took us about 5 days.
Authentic Pizza Ovens provides detailed dimensions, so we were able to build it during the shipping time. We actually fired it up the day it arrived!
What is your favorite thing to cook in your oven, and have you tried any recipes besides pizza?
While pizzas are our favorite to make, we enjoy experimenting with different foods! So far, we've made coconut macaroons, stuffed mushrooms, and lots of dishes in cast iron pans that we can easily slide in.
My wife surprised me with a little Argentinian grill for Christmas, and it sits over the coals, and the best thing to cook on it is steaks!
Ryan & Katheryn's Oven Recipes
Ulu (Coconut) Pizza Crust Recipe
Ulu (Ripe fruit) In this case, we used a coconut
Desired pizza sauce
1. Warm up your wood-fired pizza oven to between 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ about 175 degrees Celsius.
2. Bake/Toast the coconut whole on the coals for at least 15 minutes per side, then take it out.
3. Peel & pound it into dough consistency while it is warm.
4. Place the dough back in your oven and par-bake until it's cooked 1/2 way, then pull it out.
5. Add your toppings and place it back inside your oven and finish cooking until your pizza is done
You can watch our full video on Instagram HERE.
Cast Iron Trout
This was the first meal I caught and cooked as a young kid. We source our trout from a local trout farm.
Well-seasoned cast iron skillet
Salt and Pepper
1. Heat your wood-fired pizza oven to at least 450 degrees Fahrenheit about 230 degrees Celsius.
Trout is best when cooked at a high temperature for a fairly short amount of time.
2. Rinse your trout.
3. Rub the outside and the inside of your trout with salt & pepper.
4. Mince up the garlic, rosemary, thyme, and 1/4 cube butter per fish, then stuff it all inside the trout.
5. Place it in your well-seasoned cast iron skillet, then place it in your oven. It cooks fast, so flip your fish and spin your skillet 1/2 through cooking.
6. Be liberal with your butter and keep an eye on it. As Francis Millman says - “there’s nothing sadder in life than an overcooked fish”
You can watch our full video on Instagram HERE.
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