Archive for April, 2011

Asheville and Surrounding Mountains Inspire American Clay Colors at The ARCH

Cades Cove Mist Inspires Green

American Clay has a beautiful palette of colors to choose from of which we have been happily working with since 2004 and The ARCH stocks the entire selection, but we wanted to begin adding a few more of our own that work well with area projects and are derived from local inspiration!  As you can see, there are many colors within each of these images, and  likely you can match the images to the six labeled samples. Sunlight plays into our mountains and reflects on our buildings all day, every day, so we are having a good time with our local colors and this process.

As mentioned in our newsletter (look for it April 12th- I’m ahead of myself), American Clay color specialist Carrie Williar, helped me get this project started and provided the first set. We do play around with pigments and  additives such as Mica here at The ARCH as we’ve been developing our eye for colors and we’ve seen quite a few variations with the pigments over the years, but if you want a specific interest, give us a call and we can discuss how to go about getting custom colors and finishes.  Keep in mind that every color isn’t going to be possible to match  -especially the brightest colors.   I’ve collected a number of local photographs to explore including: the Double Decker Bus Red,  Beer City Amber,  Shindig Green, City Hall Roof,  and the list goes on.   Send us your ideas!

  • Developing Palette of Local Colors
  • Appalachian Gray

    Mica Factory Gray

    S&W Facade

    Great Smoky Haze

    Arcade Facade


    Wood-Fired Forno Bravo Oven Grilled Vegetables Raises the Flavor Bar

    April 7, 2011 1 comment

    Selection of Vegetables to Grill

    This entry is basically a photo tour for roasting vegetables in our Casa2G90 Forno Bravo oven.You can use the roasted vegetables in so many ways. Roasted pepper spreads, soups, and in this case- a layered lasagna with assorted grilled vegetables  made for a delicious and relatively low fat meal. The flavors are intensified, so I cut back on the cheeses and enjoyed the roasty flavors with a nice glass of red wine.

    Getting the coals right

    Getting some nice coals going to grill is  necessary from the start.  Using hardwoods that are about two inches in diameter and keeping a few pieces to the side to slide in as necessary  will guarantee a constant bed of coals. It’s a fine balance not to  smoke everything out though, so, well, you’ll get good at it.  Still learning, I think it all turned out quite delicious.  Why the round dutch oven? We’re still collecting bake ware in different forms. Ironware works great. What’s not seen here is that I put the eggplant to the left – I just set it on top of the carrots to begin baking so that the whole eggplant would be more thoroughly baked before I even put it on the grill. It doesn’t take long to roast any of these vegetables with the intensity  and convection of the  heat.  Just a note- this fire was started up quickly and a good bed of coals created within half an hour  after baking pizzas the previous night.  The oven  is so efficient that it retains a great deal of heat and makes for ease of use the following day, after day after day if desired.  Just a handful of wood is needed. I love the efficiency factor. Maybe next I’ll make a roasted pepper soup.

    Grilled Glazed Carrots for later (not for the lasagna). Inexpensive, sweet, - they won't last long

    Divine peppers begin their nap

    Chopped roasted garlic

    Cooled, peels off, mushrooms sliced

    Sliced and blended together

    Grilling Peppers

    Maximizing the use of the oven floor space- carrots to the left

    Roasting to the point of oozing

    Eggplant, Mushrooms, Garlic join the group

    Begin layering with favorite sauce, ricotta, cheeses, spices

    Layered Roasted Vegetable Lasagna ready to bake for about an hour with lid, then remove lid and bake until perfect

    Asheville Artisan Bread Festival- New Conversations for The ARCH

    April 6, 2011 1 comment

    Meeting With Peter Reinhart

    We had the pleasure of having a table at The Asheville Artisan Bread Festival  to represent Forno Bravo wood-fired ovens last Saturday, April 2nd.  Surrounded by a host of talented bakers,  it was a welcome opportunity to “talk ovens”, learn more about baking, learn more about the  North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project (NCOBFP),  as well as sample delicious breads from the local bakers- a few further north as far as Pennsylvania.

    Bakery Vendors

    We were quite caught up in “one big wood-fired community conversation”. We talked with people from all over about all kinds of wood-fired cooking experiences, those that have built their own, those that own Forno Bravo ovens, and we shared our own experiences with those interested in purchasing their own ovens, the technical end of it, and just how to go about it in practical terms.

    Jim talking ovens


    Couldn't Resist

    Some of the interests included creating a community oven for a local church,  restaurant inquiries, catering interests, community center interests, considerations for interior versus exterior installations, the use of accessories, and of course food, food, food.  The whole experience made us very hungry and we left with several loafs of bread.  We appreciated the opportunity to meet Peter Reinhart, author and baking instructor at Johnson and Wales University,and later attended a demo that he and Joe Lindley, owner of Lindley Mills in Graham, NC,  held at  AB Tech titled Baking with Sprouted Whole Grain Wheat Flour. We’re excited to watch the development of this amazing flour made by Lindley Mills, Inc. We felt quite privy to this introduction and  we were thrilled to leave with two bags of this new flour. We made some of our own bread the following day in our own wood-fired oven and are looking forward to more recipes and uses for this amazing new flour.  The raisin and cranberry focaccia that Peter had made and we all tasted  was superb.  Pretty amazing product, and as Peter remarked- it is likely to be “flying off the shelves”. Peter writes details in his blog about this Asheville event. If you  missed this year’s Asheville Artisan Bread Festival, perhaps you’ll make it to next year’s.  Next year we will likely have an oven model displayed, if not one fired up! Meanwhile, visit our showroom and see first hand our newest Casa2G80 modular oven kit.

    The Arch Works With Community of Wood-Fired Oven Enthusiasts

    Rapid River Arts & Culture magazine newest April 2011 issue  includes an article from The ARCH about wood-fired ovens. Click on the April 2011 issue, then page 23 for article titled The Arch Works With Community of Wood-Fired Oven Enthusiasts.
    The ARCH will have a table at the Asheville Artisan Bread Festival at GreenLife Grocery April 2nd 10-2PM.

    The ARCH now has a Casa2G80 Forno Bravo modular kit in the showroom.

    Hearth Bread