a taste of 2016….perhaps..

Something has stirred in the forest, still faint, but definitely stirring. The forest in question is the tangled thicket of my thoughts into which a seed has fallen and taken root. If it grows and thrives I shall tell you more about it. Having a computer, which can do more that two or three million things at the same time, allows me, a forgetful septuagenarian mortal, to let the seed grow or wither whilst I concern myself with meatier meditations on cooking in a wood fired pizza oven. Whatever my feelings on meat eating are, were or will be must be disregarded when confronted with a toothsome côte de boeuf looking as sexy, and bronzed as the one in the picture above these words….or the gigot below.


There is a visceral quality to cooking with a medium as direct as the living heat and fire of an oven such as this which quality extends as much to the burnt offerings and burnt hands of the novice as to the glorious look and unique taste of dishes that emerge successfully from the heat of furnace. I am very taken by this style of cooking whilst being equally aware of its demands…lots of wood and lots of time. There needs to be an intense heat created for the quick preparations such as pizzas or flatbreads but that which interests me most is the slow cooking that happens while the oven is cooling down……which is something that might well interest some of you who would like to spend a few days cooking and taking pictures in the Vendée in a new and glamorous location….and so the seed begins to grow.


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2015, beef, clay oven, Cookery School in France, Cuisine bourgeoise, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, French countryside, gigot, Meat, Photography, pizza oven, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to a taste of 2016….perhaps..

  1. This is wonderful. Gorgeous looking food. I’m toying with the idea of having a brick oven in the back garden when we retire so we can do food like this. My husband blanched a bit thinking we would be building it. I reassured him, that no, we’d hire someone. 🙂

  2. Are we all sking Father (or Mother!) Christmas for wood fired ovens?! Am intrigued about your plans for next year…

  3. Mad Dog says:

    I’m skiing for a wood fired oven too, but it’s a bit warm in London and the snow won’t settle.
    Build one of those and you can do all manner of roasting and baking photography courses 😉

  4. Wow a wood fired oven would be amazing. Just imagine how good all your food would taste! Gorgeous photos as always.

  5. Conor Bofin says:

    I got to cook in one down in the south of France. Using vine roots and oak. Pizza cooked to perfection in 2 minutes. From memory the oven reached over 800ºC. Very hot.

  6. ardysez says:

    Sounds very interesting. I love slow cooked foods and taking photos…very interesting…

  7. Eha says:

    . . . ‘in a new and glamorous location’ ? Am I dense or this a very planned titillation . . . ? . . . . most interesting . . .

  8. Lovely post. I’m hungry again.

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    That roast is nothing short of spectacular, Roger. Zia often talks of a time when there was a large brick oven in a neighbor’s yard. One day a week, the women would gather and bake bread. Today, brick ovens are making a resurgence and some are having them built in their yards. They’re for pizza. Nothing wrong with pizza, mind, but do try to use a little imagination.

  10. Michelle says:

    With bated breath… In the meantime, good lord, those photos are making me hungry. (Vegetarian tonight for dinner here, alas.)

  11. Fede and I are going to make a wood fired oven this coming summer! (I can’t remember what they are called in Argentina but one of those!) I am SO looking forward to it. Your little pizza looks divine.. c

    • Looking forward to seeing the results from your oven…they’ll be excellent, that’s for sure.Just been listening to the Food Programme on BBC Radio4(we get it on a digital radio) all about a Kiwi lady, Juliet Harbutt, who revolutionised artisan cheese making in the UK over the last 30 years…brilliant lady..check her out:)

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