The primordial pleasure of cooking with fire

24 Aug, 2016
 
Michelin-starred chef and School of Hospitality senior lecturer in culinary arts Alan Brown has produced a new book that takes cooking in a wood-fired oven to the next level.

Michelin-starred chef and School of Hospitality senior lecturer in culinary arts Alan Brown has produced a new book that takes cooking in a wood-fired oven to the next level.

Previously the head chef at an exclusive restaurant in the UK, Alan returned home to follow his passion of cooking with fire and subsequently wrote his first book The Complete Kiwi Pizza Oven.

Now he has produced Recipes from the Kiwi Pizza Oven which features more than 50 pizza oven recipes, all photographed in sumptuous colour by Todd Eyre. The recipes range from simple - such as tinned corn baked as bread in a can – to the more refined recipes such as the pastry dish salmon pithivier. As well as pizza the book covers how to cook, char-grill and roast vegetarian, seafood and meat dishes as well as salads and desserts.

The recipes were inspired by feedback, questions and continuing interest shown by those who have been in contact Alan or attended his oven workshops and some of his chef colleagues also share their culinary secrets.
For those who don’t have a pizza over the new book gives exact times and temperatures, rather than a rough guide, so readers can also produce the recipes in home ovens or stovetops.

It also features information on cooking at different temperatures, indispensable oven tools and kitchen equipment as well as the Pizza Primer section on successful dough-and pizza-making and a sample oven-planning session to help readers entertain for an extended period.

Alan began working in kitchens as a 14-year old dishwasher in Auckland in the 1970s and went to become chef de partie at The Ritz Hotel in London, followed by head chef at an exclusive Michelin-starred restaurant in the United Kingdom by age 28.

After 17 years he returned to New Zealand and began teaching at AUT University. He is now a senior lecturer in the culinary arts. In 2013 he celebrated 20 years of teaching, becoming the recipient of an AUT Vice Chancellor’s Academic Award for Excellent in Teaching. In the same year he was also awarded the prestigious London City and Guilds International Medal for Excellence, in recognition of outstanding performance as a lecturer in the culinary arts, something never before achieved by a New Zealander. He is a national culinary judge and critic for various organisation, and is well respected within the industry as a mentor.

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