New wood-fire oven to deliver cheesy crispy pizza delights

The authentic italian handmade wood fire brick oven made for the culinary dept. of City College by Giuseppe Crisa at his workshop in Goleta, Calif. on Sept. 27, 2013.

Justin Covington

The authentic italian handmade wood fire brick oven made for the culinary dept. of City College by Giuseppe Crisa at his workshop in Goleta, Calif. on Sept. 27, 2013.

Brooke Holland, Features Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






As the debate for the most delicious slice of pizza heats up, it comes down to one important element—the oven.

The City College culinary arts department will receive an authentic Forno Classico, wood-fired pizza oven. The handcrafted structure is designed with a burgundy-colored exterior and interior patterns of red brick and creates unique Italian-style pizzas.

“The flavor is totally different,” Giuseppe Crisa, owner and founder of Forno Classico said. “This oven is perfect for the school and cooking with the wood-fired oven is amazing.”

Crisa, originally from Sicily, Italy, continues his grandfather’s tradition of building wood fired brick ovens. Armed with years of experience, Crisa, along with four other employees, designed the large custom oven in Goleta, Calif.

“You can cook a lot of food in the oven,” Crisa said. “The technique is more important than the recipe.”

Crisa will also provide food preparation training to students and faculty. He will explain how to use the oven, prepare the fire and cook a superb Neapolitan style crust made over a flaming pile of wood logs.

“The traditional style promotes a quick cooked, thin, crispy crust product,” said Randy Bublitz, culinary arts department chair. “Now with one of our own, it will be useful for the students.”

The cost of the oven, with the delivery and installation charge, is more than $12,000. With a solid base support, the oven is approximately six feet tall and will be installed on the outside patio of the JSB Cafe.

“It’s a very versatile oven and can be used for different techniques,” said Bublitz. “It’s going to make a dramatic statement.”

With a peak temperature of 1,000 degrees, the oven cooks up to five pizzas in less than two minutes. The retained heat from the wood provides an ideal environment for cooking a wide range of foods.

“Most ovens are fired with either electricity or natural gas. They traditionally can’t get as hot,” Bublitz said. “It will probably be used for special pizza appetizers but we can also use it for wood-fired roasted vegetables or meats.”

The oven will be used for the nighttime gourmet dining class and Sandra Allain’s artisan baking course. Culinary arts students and faculty are looking forward to using the new equipment and learning the Italian cooking techniques.

“It will be fun to use and the pizza will taste better,” said Shelby Baker, a culinary arts student and chef at JSB Café.

The department plans on having the oven installed in the coming weeks.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email