stone baked pizza going in the oven

Have you ever eaten a proper pizza, cooked in a wood-fired oven? Well if you haven’t you don’t know what you’re missing, if you have it’s probably one of the best things you’ve eaten. Real wood fire and a proper oven does something magical to food; and of course it’s not just pizzas. But the way pizza crust bubbles, bursts and chars, that’s what you want, not a pappy thick crust with half-a-ton of nameless cheese. Three ingredients, maximum flavor, minimum fuss.

So to convert the wood-fired virgins Jamie dispatched a crack team from his Union Jacks restaurant into Hertfordshire, along with his famous Cock Inn truck (as seen in Jamie’s Great Britain series). Chef Dennis showed the crowds at Van Hage garden centre in Great Amwell how to create the perfect pizza, rosemary focaccia and flamed herring.

Wood fired ovens distribute the heat from logs around them in such a way that your food gets super-hot, cooks super-quickly and adds a hint of smokey goodness to everything.

Just imagine your breakfast cooked in there, porridge done to a tee, crusty-topped cassoulet, spicy bean feasts, heavenly breads, charred sardines, hot fruit salads… the possibilities are endless.

The Van Hage demo was based on the amazing food of Jamie and Chris Bianco’s Union Jacks, where the ovens are used to create the famous flatbreads (or pizzas), so Dennis fed the hordes the basic pizza made with heritage flour, the curds from Westcombe Cheddar and a juicy tomato passata. Hot, crusty chewy and extremely moreish.

The Dome 60 oven is so beautiful that it features in a garden created for the Chelsea Flower Show, which we’ll show you once it’s revealed next month. The team are also visiting Grill Stock to show the outdoor cooking nuts just what it can do.