Are you thinking about buying a wood-fired oven but you aren’t sure just where to look? May I recommend what not to do, and then provide you with some great advice? There are “online operations” who fight tooth and nail to undercut the smaller showrooms in the country but they will likely cost you more and service is out the window, there are the “online super stores” where you can’t talk to ANYONE, and they’re so large you wouldn’t know where your product is coming from, and once shipping is factored in m a y b e you’ll save twenty five dollars, or, maybe it’ll cost you more down the line because you had no advice at all? Or possibly, there’s a big box store with a competitive product that looks pretty darn dazzling at first sight… oh, the power of impulse purchasing! but the salesperson (if you can find one), doesn’t know diddly-squat about the product, and you can forget any followup service.
Here’s my advice: Take the time to call or visit Jim and Cathy at The Arch who have been reputable full-service dealers of Forno Bravo wood-fired ovens and fireplace units and Forno Bravo’s accessory line since 2009. More recently, they added Forno Bravo’s exciting new Bella Outdoor Living premium stainless line which makes for a well-rounded offering.
We work hard every day to provide full service from the moment you contact us with questions about everything you want to know about the best wood-fired oven for you to the day the final brick is in place in your back yard or businesses. Even after that final brick is set, we enjoy hearing from you about your experiences whether you are exploring different types of pizza flour, managing your new commercial oven (a major investment) at your deli, or wondering how to get those pizzas to slide off the peel without ball bearing cornmeal pieces wedged in the bottom of the crust. (i.e. You don’t use corn meal because they tend to burn and get very hard …semolina works better )
Recently a customer visited our showroom, as they often have since purchasing an oven from us a couple of years ago. With great enthusiasm, he discussed hydration levels in dough with us for almost an hour. Our customers had taken a class in Charlotte with an accomplished chef and they were very excited to share their experiences with us. It was fun to talk about dough! I wonder what customer service at the big box store would have done with that conversation. Oh, that’s right, there wouldn’t have been a conversation!
The fact that Jim has been a professional mason in the Asheville area for over thirty years and Cathy has an interior design background means you will get a sincere interest in your project and professional experience to go with it. We can’t claim to be chefs because we are not, but we are delighted that the food from our own Forno Bravo oven is quite exceptional! That’s what wood-fired cooking is all about- great food and friends and a connection with fire! Because we’ve been baking, roasting and grilling for years, we can speak from experience about fire wood, temperatures, accessories, commercial considerations, heat retention, installations, cooking tips, and so much more. I have great respect for Jim’s masonry talent. I recall a customer from Hilton Head who had a beautiful outdoor kitchen installed reminding Jim that he is a master at his craft. Jim can give you a fair price for a complete installation, and we always give you a fair price for Forno Bravo products. We also give design advice such as practical heights for counters, considerations to traffic patterns as you navigate long handled peels and proximity to your kitchen. It’s our daily conversation, but to others it’s experience that is well worth it. We hope you will support our business by giving us a call at 828 253 5455 or completing this contact form.
We look forward to working with you!
Our showroom can be located at 2000 Riverside Drive Unit 10, Asheville, NC 28804 or visit our website at: http://www.thearchnc.com Hours: T-F 9:30-5:30, Sat 10-3
The Arch has moved once again! We’ve moved into a space that at one time was the old power house of what long ago serviced the Burlington Industries textiles manufacturing plant but is now The Riverside Business Park. We moved just a few hundred feet from our previous location within the park so if you’re looking at a GPS map, that famous little red arrow marker points to the same spot!
The building definitely presented us with some huge challenges, but with all the meandering metal pipes and metal boxes- (most of which I have no idea of their functions), they are now part of the overall “industrial look” that we simply work with..or around.
Fortunately we have maintained the same contact address as we simply moved “Unit 10” with us.
The space was clearly in very sad condition before we moved into it as you can see from these “before” photos. The many shades of paint and crumbling ceiling raised more than one eyebrow when we considered the space originally, in fact, at first, I for one, said ” NO”!
Then gradually, with the help of the park, and a closer look at the space, we accepted the challenge and recognized that it is going to function well for us. The high ceiling, natural light, upper loft work area and the outside awning are positive attributes of the space. Front doors were added, zero VOC paint was sprayed throughout the space, we built in some upper loft half walls and Jim wasted no time applying American Clay on a few of the walls (..there’s always more walls to cover with this amazing clay!). We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re here and we welcome everyone!
Alan Tilson with Indow Windows is in the upper loft (come in and discuss these energy efficient interior window inserts), and Roxanne’s “satellite” location for Amazing Capes takes up the other wing. !!! Check out her website too!
We have easy parking and the same great sustainable products and some new additions such as this sweet small portable stainless steel wood fired outdoor oven shown below.
Some of what The Arch offers: American Clay Earth Plaster and workshop offerings, Forno Bravo ovens and outdoor fireplace units for residential and commercial locations, Bella Outdoor Living wood fired ovens, one of Asheville’s best selections of sustainable flooring, Vermont Natural Coatings for floors, furniture, decks and exterior siding, home accents and art tile.
In our next blog post we plan to share images of The Nano C22 in action, fired up under the outside awning. We’ll be cooking some delicious appetizers! We are taking orders ( on the ovens), so come on in and take a look! There are larger units and drop-in options. Call us for details. 828 253 5455
Visit us at our new location at The Arch, 2000 Riverside Drive Unit 10, Asheville, NC 28804 http://www.thearchnc.com 828 253 5455 email@example.com Visit our website for hours of operation.
97 Feet UP!
This ought to be tall enough for a wood-fired oven chimney don’t you think? It’s not necessary of course, but….some ideas are BIG ideas and this one is BIG as well as TALL! Project Manager, Maxime Theberge of The Factory in High Point, NC wanted a bold and innovative idea to come together for this restored old mill dating back to the early 20th century, formally the Adams-Millis Hosiery Mill.
Now it is the home of a furniture showroom and is soon to be a destination for the High Point Market. This oven installation will be part of an entertainment venue, that not only has character but will be serving up some delicious fare to those attending events. Fire and wood-fired ovens are always a great draw and a crowd-pleaser and we’re thankful to have been a part of this project! Jim Erskine with The ARCH, was contacted Spring of 2012 as he is known for his competent masonry skills and Forno Bravo oven installation work. Well, this isn’t a typical installation for wood-fired ovens, but Jim was definitely stoked, jazzed, excited, you name it!, and between all the professionals looking at the engineering of this project it was given a green light!
Though I see a rather blue white moon light…oh wait, that’s not the moon at the top of that smoke stack, that’s daylight and that’s where climbers Michael Grosser and Leo Dupuis clipped their way up the interior rungs of the smoke stack and then helped guide sections of the selected Forno Bravo Modena 120 commercial wood-fired oven down the stack!
Four of the sections fit through the hole at the base, but the plan was to maintain a smaller opening and lower two of the six sections with the use of a crane, guided by Michael Grosser at the TOP. Several days prior to “the drop”, Jim had to get through this massive wall. Not what you call a highlight but he made it through this thick wall and then built an oven floor after gravel was poured into the base, cement, re bar reinforcement, the works….
Jim accomplished the hole in the wall and oven floor days before the crane was scheduled to provide their expertise…. and expertise was the case. Hats off to crane operators!
Not a bump going down the stack, and with the assistance from Michael at the top (to start the guided lowering of the sections), they were received by more brave souls at the base. (They waited until the piece was nearly at the bottom, stepped in and guided the final landing of the sections).
With a lot of patience and teamwork the six section oven kit was in place. (There is also a side access hole about fifteen feet up the right side of the smoke stack. Perhaps future climbing expeditions?)
Finally, a customized “smoke stack chimney cap” was lowered onto the top… another success! This cap was beautifully constructed and a necessary component. This time Leo Dupuis braved the climb up the smoke stack and guided the landing of the cap at the top.
The weather was drizzling most of the day but thankfully the wind wasn’t up. The next day more insulation and finish work was completed to the dome. Jim thanks all of those that helped with this project.
Next step…… to enjoy some phenomenal food and watch the smoke rise from 97 feet up!For more information give us a call at The ARCH 171 Weaverville Hwy Suite 103 Asheville NC 28804 828 253 5455 www.thearchnc.com For more images visit Jim’s Wood Fired Ovens Facebook page album
For Forno Bravo oven and outdoor fireplace sales and installation information call Jim Erskine 828 768 4438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit us at The ARCH in Asheville and you’ll find that we’re happy to talk ovens and hearth bread! We don’t claim to be baking professionals and yet we continue to surprise ourselves with delicious loaves of hearth bread. Often we add a little rosemary from the garden or bake Ciabatta with a little Asiago cheese. The recipes are endless. Add a summer fresh tomato, avocado, and goat cheese,….what more do you need to enjoy a delicious combination with fine bread while sitting on your deck this summer? Artisan breads generally cost from $5.00-$6.00 in Asheville, so, let’s see…. $6.00 times how many loaves? Considering the cost of flour, this is a great savings but more importantly it could be your bread. Shown here is just a small sample of delicious food that you can make in a hot wood-fired oven.
The ARCH offers competitive pricing on all Forno Bravo ovens and outdoor fireplace units, accessories, Caputo 00 flour, tomato sauces and more. We offer full service and installations as well. See Jim’s gallery of installations here. Give us a call at The ARCH today at 828 253 5455. Showroom hours: T-F 9:30-5:30, Sat. 10-3. Or email us at email@example.com. Website: www.thearchnc.com
For more on Jim’s outdoor oven “conversations”- follow Jim’s Wood Fired Ovens on Facebook.
The flame is being fanned all across the country for Wood-Fired Ovens and the delicious food and entertainment they provide. We’re fanning the fire for exciting tile installations! We recently installed the tiles shown here on the arch of our own oven at our home. There are so many ways to use tiles on an oven installation but I suggest including something creative into your oven design whatever you do. Break the boredom and drop the minimalist look from time to time!
You can choose tiles that are colorful, whimsical, classic, craftsman, Latin, glass, stone; the possibilities are endless. Mosaics flow nicely and so believing I could work with the pieces we decided to combine these classic handmade decorative art tiles with a simple grey stone, both of which are available through our showroom The ARCH. Just give us a call and we can discuss creative ideas with you. I selected a grey grout which still allows for the various stone colors to pop out. Over the years the dark grout color won’t get dirty in appearance and it tones down the brighter tiles to blend with the earthy primitive nature of wood-fire cooking.
I started with a cardboard template of the arch and some paper cut outs of the tile pieces and stone shapes to see how it would flow.
After sketching and playing with some layouts, I attached the template to an arch on one of our showroom Forno Bravo models. (The oven shown below is the Casa2G80 32″ interior diameter which happens to have the same arch size as our Casa2G90 36″ interior diameter oven).
Once all the selections were made I special ordered the metallic glaze beauties from a local artist whose work we display at The ARCH, and the stone tiles that come on a mesh material.
I hand picked the most workable stones, placed them on the template and played and played with them until they were working with the tiles.
A few modifications from the original layout so I recommend careful measuring of the template. The process installing the mosaic was more enjoyable than I predicted as I had not completed a mosaic before.
It was a very sculptural feeling when it came to moving the grout throughout the mosaic. I used a grout bag to squirt the grout around all the pieces given there was so much variation in sizes and heights. The highs and lows of tiles and stones all connected as I smoothed the grout between the pieces.
Finally, the arch was complete!
The counter surface will meet up with the oven floor entry for easy use when cooking.
It was a pleasure to finally relax and see the fire nestled in the oven with the tiled arch surrounding it.
Caputo 00 flour is now available at The ARCH in Asheville! If you haven’t tried the “00” Pizzeria Caputo flour you’ll be surprised by it’s soft light crust with, and as the description reads here “extraordinary taste”! We will have the smaller 2.2lb bags of Caputo 00 Farina Flour – also excellent for pizzas (and great for testing a small batch) as well. Newer to us, but highly recommended by our friends with Crust Bakehouse in Columbia, SC is a flour they work with and enjoy (and we too enjoy) and that is Spadoni Pizzeria Flour also in a 55lb bag. Our selection will be growing based on interest and this is for PICK UP ONLY, though we may start shipping out the smaller 2.2LB bags.
We’re easing into building up our supply so it’s best to call ahead at 828 253 5455 to find out what we might have in stock and to pre-order as necessary. We will be ordering twice a month and we require a 25.00 minimum on each order. Our “kick off special pricing is good through May of 2012 and is noted in our recent Spring newsletter. A good discussion about why all flours are not equal for pizza, gluten levels in flour, the 00 rating for the grind of the wheat can be found in this blog entry by Saveur magazine.
They use only the “heart” of the wheat in the Caputo flours which is a family owned and operated mill dating back to 1924.
Combine this superb flour with a Forno Bravo wood-fired oven and you have a pizza that can’t be duplicated in other ovens. It combines reflected heat, convection and conductive heat to bake the perfect pizza in just 90 seconds! All three- the crust, cheese and the sauce is cooking at the same time. The live fire arcing over the interior dome browns the top of the pizza with a rich brown color and imparts a deep flavor. The Convection heat combined with the moisture in the oven helps steam and puff up the cornicione (the other rim or crust) of the pizza, and with the intense floor heat direct heat extracts moisture from the dough of the pizza resulting in a unique crisp crust. This is not something you can obtain with a pizza stone alone. On the other hand, these flour choices will improve your pizza crust in any oven!
Wood-fired ovens combine all the best conditions!For a more detailed explanation of Forno Bravo’s oven operation and cooking benefits click here.
We also will have what I have found to be a simple a delicious tomato sauce for pizza and that is the Pomodorino Italian cherry tomatoes in 14oz cans which we will stock.These are whole unpeeled cherry tomatoes that are sweet and can be slightly squished for your pizza sauce. We will also have a growing supply of pizza related toppings including more plum and crushed tomatoes, Pesto sauce Ligurian in jars, dried wild mushrooms, and very soon we’ll have fresh mozzarella 6lb ave loafs and goat cheese crumbles.
The ARCH can now sustain your pantry as well as provide sustainable finishes,
The ARCH is your full service Wood-fired oven location in Asheville! We offer: OVEN SALES, INSTALLATIONS, AND NOW A GROWING LIST OF FOOD ITEMS FOR YOUR OVEN! Call us for an estimate today!
The ARCH can now sustain your pantry as well as provide sustainable finishes, flooring and more!
Christmas day had been a very full day. I wasn’t sure I wanted to cook an evening meal in the wood-fired oven or just hit the sofa. After a large breakfast, lunch with extended family, the occasional bites of date bars and chocolate throughout the day, did any of us need dinner at all?
We fired up the oven, tending it off and on for a little more than forty-five minutes which is typical for our Forno Bravo Casa2G90. The temperature outside was in the 30’s, the oven coals somewhere over 1000 degrees, the dome creating the perfect convection experience – all ready to sear in the flavors like no other cooking method. I prepared a couple of platters of vegetables (which took all of ten minutes- rinse vegetables, drizzle with oils, herbs, etc…, arranging and considering the grilling order and placement in the oven). The carrots were set to one side of the oven ahead of the rest of the vegetables allowing for the most generous amount of grilling time. I have read that cast iron may cook too hot in a wood-fired oven- but I believe it is more a case of knowing your oven and what you are cooking.Setting the heavy pan to the side of the fire works great for carrots. Want more heat? Move the pan closer to the fire. Want less? just pull it away, stirring on occasion, but not too often as its the caramelized skins that are delicious. Next, the portobellos were placed on the grill and then the peppers, checking up on them from time to time, giving the peppers a turn, evening out the coals beneath until all were roasted and just beginning to ooze their delicious juices.
Vegetables don’t take that long,so they want your undivided attention at this point. No problem. I was glad to be outside tending the beautiful red coals and watching the fire. The last vegetable I placed in the oven was the asparagus which had been placed on a foil covered roasting tray and placed on the Toscana grill. Drizzled with olive oil, herbs, garlic, fresh lime juice, combined with the perfect heat of the dome and coals beneath they provided the ultimate chorus and just listening to them sizzle was, well here…listen for yourself.
And they were absolutely delicious! They were so good that I grilled a second batch after dinner to eat the next day.
For more information on grilling in your wood-fired ovens, give us a call at The ARCH at 828 253 5455