Last week I received an e-mail with questions and doubts about building pizza ovens. I have to say it was not the first e-mail and I believe it will not be the last. The nice thing was that in the same week I saw the manual I’ve used to build my first pizza oven on facebook! It was written by my professor Victor Lotufo and it explains quite easily how to build an earth oven! I was so happy to see that, that I decided to make my own manual “How to build an oven in 10 steps” ( you can find it at the page “oven” at my website)(click here)
Friends and clients told me not to do it…they say I’m crazy reveling all my secrets, and that I was going to loose lot’s of jobs an opportunities by telling people how to build a pizza oven…but I don’t agree.
I believe in people more then bricks…so why should I keep bricks information for myself instead of making people happy? My professor didn’t keep it to himself…and I will won’t do that eather!
It’s really funny how new ideas and experiences wake people up… by discovering the unknown it activates this kind of motor of excitement. But nothing is new forever.
When we started this pizza project we got enthusiastic with the art of cooking and building ovens…it was amazing developing new ideas and methods for our project. After 4 seasons of pizzas, one huge trip through the country and more then 15 ovens built in the Netherlands, we are asking ourselves what is the new thing…
Last tuesday we went to the Breek for our first pizza party from this year…making dough, tomato sauce and teaching how to cook a pizza…all of the things are no secret anymore…when all the party was set up the birthday man (Hans) he asks me to give a speech about sharing…I was really nervous because I didn’t knew what to say. I decided to give them an overview from our pizza adventure since the really beggining in Brasil.
During my talk a saw shinning eyes and smiling faces…what is old and boring for me is mind blowing for the other…and I became aware of the fact that if I had so many stories to tell at my 32th, imagine what all the other people have to offer!!!
That changed my mind…I realized my curve of excitement is not hidden somewhere between cheese or bikes, mussarela and fire…this time it will be coming out of you…the soul who I am willing to meet:) YEAH!
Thanks Anna and Hans for the incredible party! You guys rock:)
Who is the one that defines the value in an exchange? When we decide if it’s fair? The nice thing about exchange is the justice in it.
Last week we came back to the Breek ( the windmill close by Hoorn) for screening our documentary about sharing. Anna, our host and newest great friend challenged us for doing something special…our idea was exchanging the movie with the audience!
We charged 5 euros for the film, and if the people had something to give us back we would return the initial fee.
Great plan, but always with great plans we got surprised…First of all were the stuff we’ve got…I think we could make a boat from all the maritime equipments…Secondly was the effort, from photographers to sailors everyone was donating time for our cause!
But the most special result from our evening was the fact that actually people were not just exchanging things, they were sharing it. And when you share you set yourself for the other rather then solving your 5 euros problem.
You can’t give happiness, share it!
Thanks Anna and the people from the Breek…we’ve got so many ideas and inspiration from that movie night that it will fill completely our 2014 sketch books!
Merry Christmas and Happy new YEAR everybody…It was great!
Besides my pizza project I am an architect.I am busy designing a school in the Netherlands, and diferentely then building an oven, a school project demands lot’s of decisions and concessions between all partners. It’s a big job arranging and managing this process. What sometimes annoys me is the fact that issues like hours-fee and efficiency drawing becomes more important then the concept itself. I have this feeling we are loosing ourselfs in the world of process management and budget limitations.
I believe in passion at work. Two months ago we presented our movie at the Waterkant in Den Haag. It was an improvised preview at a spontaneous party. With cables for beamer the beamer missing, not so much places to sit and a table cover to screen our movie on. The evening was a challenge itself. Together with the Waterkant crew we decided to do it anyway! Suddenly the cables were brought in by one of the guests, people started to squeeze up on the chairs and we put up the table cloth. Every thing was going as planned, but then Esther noticed creases in the movie screen.
For some people ( including myself) it was not a big issue, and due to the fact that we didn’t had too much time such screen was acceptable…But for Esther it was not …”How could you see a movie looking at a crumpled screen for 60 minutes?” she ask me…I told her it was OK and the screen at least fits with our “improvised spontaneous movie”, but she answered me: OK is not enough!
Two minutes later a guy from the party jumped on his scooter running against time to get a flat-iron, and just one minute before the start we could put up the ironed screen with the help from the audience! YEAHHHHHH….it was beautiful!
Sometimes I wish this kind of passion emerges at my work…this concession that OK is not enough. Not deciding for the easy or the cheap, for the fast or the handy, but going for the best and the right. Let’s make space for emotion and passion between our straight digital lines!
Estafette in dutch means Relay Race…that modality in the Olympics where all these people are running( or swimming) like crazy and passing by the baton(kind of stick) from one to another…Is a collective individual race where as important as speed is the ability of giving away. What impressed me most is that not always the teams with the fastest players wins.
With every pizza party I have this same goal which I am dying to achieve…passing my Baton to a new pizza baker! Our parties are mostly participative, but just rolling the dough or mouting the pizzas doesn’t make you a pizza baker…you have to cook!
I have to say have’nt always achieved my goal… not everyone in the world that is as interested in wood ovens like me…but once in a while I meet my own folk:) Last time was at Bastiaan and Monique’s neighborhood party. They asked us for cooking in their communal garden, for them and their neighbors…I was skeptic about the weather but agreed cooking one last time this year for these amazing people! And there it happened…soon enough everyone was caring about this boy…he was coping with illnes but his will of being a Pizza Baker was bigger then his weakness…suddenly he became a Pizza Baker, claiming my pizza shovel and controlling the fire!
Like the “Estafette”, the art of cooking pizza does not rely just in the perfect pizza, but also in the idea of passing by this feeling of being part of something that really makes the difference! This ability requires one hard decision, stepping back and giving space for the other… And if you can do that…running like crazy becomes unnecessary for winning!
This picture has an amazing story…as you guys can see it is another view from our fietzerria final party at the afsluitdijk…it was taken by someone who was driving by…but the most incredible thing is not what the photo shows, but what it actually represents!
Some weeks ago i got in touch with Arn…he call me to chat about pizza project…arriving at his place i discovered he was as enthusiastic about ovens as me…always experimenting and trying new things we had a great morning thinking and discussing about all the secrets from the clay, base and mobility!
I can say i’ve got some pizza oven freaks, but they are all in Brasil or in some distance farm in the middle of the jungle. I never could imagine someone so close by with the same passion and motivation.
In the end of the morning Arn came with this picture…he told me all his friends overload him with pictures and references about ovens ( I have the same issue:)…and one of them catch me on action at the most distance point I ever been with my bike. Crazy this world of little things…some times it looks like how specify are your interests how wide becomes your world. The only thing we have to take care of is choosing something reallyyyyy nice to be interested on!
GOOOOO pizza ovens! YEAH!
P.S…and click here to see one of the best references from my inbox:
Since I started this pizza project I had this goal: Cooking and building an oven at the architecture school in the Netherlands. It was this kind of dream bringing my stories and experiences for my fellow dutch architects, letting them fell a little bit of the brazilian way of making it. And guess what…after so much pizzas for friends, children, sportive clubs, eco-fans, rich people, business crew and cycling dudes at the afsluitdijk, I finally realized my dream.
I was ask to cook pizzas for the start of the academic year at the Rotterdam Architecture Academy…Located at Heijplaat it was quite an adventure getting there in first place…after a 6 hours trip from Den Haag to Heiplaat divided in two days i got there…and moments later i saw lot’s of architecture students discovering the mysteries of the pizza cooking…quite strange for me used to assume that all architecture students are more then welcome with the pizza skills( in Brasil they are!)
But what i saw that day was where architecture and pizzas comes together…the both are not products…they are concepts…and you can fill them up as you like:) YEAH!
Thanks Alexa for the opportunity and Maarten for that help bringing the bike to Heijplaat and bringing it back(this time with the boat!)
Nice thing about blogging is that you know you are not alone…everyone can blog! Just make an account and start telling stories! Two weeks ago i went cooking with Cantal at the Waterkant in Den Haag. It was a whiskey evening and they asked us for cooking some pizzas…during our preparations was this girl sitting in front of us.
Dividing her time between a book and some friends on a boat, suddenly she noticed how a bike could transform into a Pizzeria!From our tomato sauce mixer to the parasol lamps she was getting delighted with such perfomance…not knowing that the pizzas were still to come. After so much cooking, dancing and drinking she told me her point of view, and then made a blog from it:) YEAH!!!!Amazing!
Thanks Madelinde for your story…is kind of magic reading our adventure from someone else’s eyes!
And thanks Cantal, Joris, Sandro,Rayke and the people from the waterkant…you guys rock!
When i was young I was always dreaming about becoming a pilot, astronaut or a race driver…but it turn’s out that my passion for Lego carried me away to Architecture. Some weeks ago i was cooking for Gert-Jan and his friends and family. There was the end season party from his daughters hockey team. Besides the wonderful weather, it was this team spirit on this party which catch my attention…like a real team everyone was helping out in the party, specially the youngest one! She was so enthusiastic about everything ( even washing the dishes) that i was blowed away with her strength. WOW…and when everyone was gone, the fire was out and all the food was over, she ask’s their parents if she could become pizza baker!YEAH!
Ola Ola people…this time it is no manifest, not a new discovery or movie..at this post we are celebrating the marriage of Sebastian and Johana! Collaborative persons in all pizza projects, they asked us if we could cook at their wedding…and the answer was Hummm…let me think……OF COURSE!!!! How could we say no?!
This was the first time we were doing a wedding…normally everyone gets the idea that the catering should be chic, glamorous and full of dishes that we can’t even spell out, always ending up with a piece of salmon with some fancy vegetables at a good looking plate.
But Sebastiaan and Johana are not the kind of people looking for the institutional pre-described wedding…where everything should look perfect and expensive to be appropriate. They were looking for fun and interaction…and we can say the pizza bike is the keystone for these kind of events.
One thing any wedding has in common is the value of the moment…it is where everyone you love gets together to celebrate the love you have for your partner…it’s declaring a manifest of trust, believes and wills for the future. In such moment you wish everything goes as planed, whatever the plan is…and especially in this case, a great pizza party!
And for this we did all we could to manage their expectations…even driving 12 more kilometers after finding out our bike would not fit in the Maastunnel elevator (at just 20 cm), bringing two pizza ovens to speed up the party, creating the pizzeria atmophesphere and leading all the guests through our pizza adventure! But the best was still to come…we planned the “Grandious glamour entrance” where Sebastiaan and Johana arrived biking our mobile pizza oven. We hid the bike in the bushes and they biked it into the party:) It was amazing!
We are proud of being part of this moment…and we wish for many more to come! Congrats Sebas and Johana..you guys rock YEAH!