Explore Gilded Tomato’s live-fire wedding catering artistry
Would you settle for a conventional day-to-day wedding catering on the most important day of your life? Our team at Gilded Tomato will thrill your guests with a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle: live-fire cooking in old-world European ovens! Our alluring mobile copper ovens fire up to 1200 degrees and liven up a unique menu of foods with the unique aromas of seasoned hickory wood. As pioneers in live-fire wedding catering in Rhode Island and Massachusetts we will create unsurpassed experiences for your guests that they will talk about long after your wedding day. Located at our farmstead in Rehoboth, MA, we are in close proximity to any town in Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts, making us the ideal caterer that will take the work out of your wedding catering while crafting one-of-a-kind memories for you and your guests.
Our virtuoso Chefs will thrill you offering sensational signature pizzas, savory meat, seafood, and vegetarian appetizers, and mouth-watering dessert pizzas. Experience stunning appetizers such as wood fired pita chips accompanied by fire-roasted garlic, red pepper or eggplant hummus, or live-fired shrimp in raspberry chipotle sauce. Offer sizzlin’ pizzas caramelized to perfection, off-the charts smoky flavored grilled appetizers, or off-the-chart dessert pizzas – a specialty of Gilded Tomato Company. Because, let’s face it, it’s your amazingly special day… Create the well-anticipated buzz about your wedding with live-fire cooking – the most talked about cooking method of the year!
“Gilda”, and new brother, “Gatsby”, have such “glowing” personalities (sorry), we just had to give these enormous copper objet d’art, names. If you are behind our van, as we haul either oven, you will see people leaning out of their window instagraming, giving us the thumbs up, or just craning their neck wondering, “what the heck…?”. Once at our destination, often a crowd of curious onlookers gather, drawn over by the aroma of burning hickory wood – you can smell the oven long before you can see her/him. Folks of all ages seem to have a fascination with fire and this primitive form of cooking. Live-fire cooking is an endless conversation piece and questions abound, so, today we are blogging about Gilda and Gatsby.
Cooking in a wood-fire is a soulful experience. Fires are temperamental and moody, and getting along with them requires patience if you want to produce non-charred or half-scorched/ half-raw foods. On the other hand, the best food you have ever tasted can be prepared in a wood-fire, so please feel encouraged to give live-fire cooking a solid try.
Let’s started with recommended reading:
From the Wood-Fired Oven New and Traditional Techniques for Cooking and Baking With Fire by Richard Miscovich
The Bread Builders
Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens by Alan Scott and Daniel Wing
I would suggest starting simple and low cost. Try taking the mud oven building course with Ciril Hitz of Breadhitz in Rehoboth, MA. If you lose interest in a couple of years your oven will wash away, and if you can’t live without it, go to a landscape nursery that sells pre-assembled brick ovens, or buy the materials – and build it yourself.
Back to Gilda and Gatsby. We are frequently asked questions and don’t always have the time to provide an in-depth answer. This is not a pizza you throw in the oven and walk away from. Vasileios, our fire master has to continuously turn and shift the pie into different quadrants of the oven to give the dough the telltale leopard speckling.
The floor and the peak of the interior oven have different temperatures. The fire is started early morning (or the night before an event) to help us achieve our temperature range from 800 – 1200 degrees. (The temperature is measured with a laser thermometer.) In order to get the floor evenly heated, the coals are raked over the bed. When we are ready to cook the pizzas, the deck is cleaned with the fire-proof push broom. The pizzas are carefully and skillfully slid in.
The oven can accommodate up to six to nine pies, we tend to bake between 5 – 6 at a time. The pizzas bake up in a mere 90-seconds, and are best eaten soon after they come out. Best to chow down within 20-minutes. After that, the pizza’s taste profile is not at its best.
Our ovens are 100% organic – made from Kaolin clay. “Terre Blanch” is French for “white earth”. This is an amazing refractory clay which contains aluminum oxide which allows them to be heat resistant up to 1,630 degrees Celsius. There is no iron oxide in the clay to effect the taste – and no asbestos which can be found in some brick ovens.
It all started innocently enough. Father’s Day was approaching and I thought what better way to increase the fun factor at home than by providing my husband, Jon, with the concept and tools to build a simple mud oven. I purchased a book – and I signed him up for a pizza workshop held by world-renown baker, Cyril Hitz.
Thus, the obsession began. I created a monster.
Next thing I knew, we were headed up to Maine for the Kneading Workshop, and then soon after to the Common Ground Festival in Skowhegan Maine. The seductive smell of wood fired pizza calls to you, so we followed our noses to the LePaynol station to learn more about their amazing – only truly organic (no toxin producing) – ovens.
Our dear friend, Chef Chris Whirlow, thought this was an amazing idea and his energy and creativity around this project began to fly. We trained and consulted with Cyril, adopting his award-winning recipe for three day fermentation. The crust is the most important aspect of great pizza. This is so not frozen dough or “chain” pizza. The crust is divine.
Speaking of traditional pizza, one typically waits twenty-minutes or longer. I was concerned about the long lines attracted to the wood-fired pizza station. The oven heats upward of 1,000 degrees and pizza bakes up in roughly two minutes. Put in five or six pizzas and you are feeding a long line in seconds. Glad we didn’t have to wait.
Being a fitness person, I love the option of heaping healthy locally-grown veggies onto the pizzas. It is great to benefit from their freshness and increased nutritional value – and we like to support the local farms. We also grow our berries, herbs, and seasonal vegetables on own land in Rehoboth.