Putting a Valoriani oven at the heart of an African Rondavel hut design was the mission of south coast homeowner, Mr K, the moment he discovered the Top 100 self-build pizza oven kit option from Orchard Ovens. Having achieved that, he is now enjoying an exquisite outdoor lifestyle and culinary adventures around his wood fired oven. Mr K had long considered a Valoriani oven, having seen one regularly fired up by his neighbours, who have owned their Valoriani wood burning and DEFRA-certificated oven for over 10 years. 2020 and the COVID pandemic gave him the perfect opportunity to take on a build project and bring in local tradesmen and craftsmen to create a stunning surround for the oven, which provides a distinct personality and garden aesthetic.
As Mr K would say, taking on such a project is not necessarily as easy as it looks on paper and there is a lot to do, consider and pay for, over and above the cost of the Moderno build your own kit.
His advice to others is to be realistic about what is involved and their project management skills and ensure they understand all of the costs that will be incurred, before embarking on the project. If that is all appreciated and planned in, then the end result should result in nothing but total satisfaction, a sense of achievement and joy.
In Mr K’s case, he came to realise that a lot of advice and help was required along the way, despite bringing in brickies, roofers and joiners to handle the job. He is profuse in his praise for Orchard Ovens’ owner, Andrew Manciocchi, who he says was “top notch” and a “real expert”. Mr K had to turn to Andrew for lots of assistance but always found him keen to help and almost always instantly available or ready to return a call within ten minutes.
“I never felt that I was an imposition, which says a lot”, says the homeowner. “Andrew just couldn’t have been nicer.”
One thing that the African hut design can definitely vouch for is the heat retention of the Valoriani oven. Knowing how many other pizza ovens are constructed and how poor their heat retention is, he was worried that the cedar shingle roof of the surround could catch fire. Andrew reassured him that this would not be an issue with a Valoriani oven and has been proved right. The cedar roof does not even get warm, thanks to the superb heat retention and insulation of the Valoriani Moderno 100 oven, which has 40 years of research and development behind enhancements to one of Valoriani’s earliest Originale ovens.
Now all that the hard work in building the surround and oven, and then installing the oven, has been done, Mr K and family are enjoying an exquisite al fresco lifestyle, based around the oven and pandering to their love of food. All three of his adult children love to cook, so the wood burning oven is a magnet for them, as well as for Mr K and his wife.
The family cook pizza, casseroles, tagines, bread, slow-cooked meat roasts and desserts based around fruits in season within their wood-fired oven and also grill steaks on the embers and coals created by the wood. It has all been a “terrific success”, in Mr K’s words.
He concludes by saying, “If anyone is looking for an outdoor oven, whether they want to cook pizza, stews, meat, or something else, I can honestly say that they should look no further than a Valoriani wood fired oven from Orchard Ovens. It really is a class apart and I just can’t fault the advice that is always on tap after purchase.”
To buy the same UK-specific build your own kit, comprising floor, dome, steel flue spigot with integral decorative arch, ceramic hinged door and mortar, plus thermometer, please call 01772 250000 or click here for more details.