By Michael DiLauro
The big week was finally here, the 2016 Kitchen & Bath Show in Las Vegas. The pizza oven successfully made it out to Las Vegas, engineers Brian and Chris installed it in the booth and got it up and running a day before the show. We made a handful of pizzas for the guys setting up the booth to test everything out. In advance of the show, we ordered all of the pizza tools and ingredients we needed to make pizza for three days. We specified the best ingredients, including Caputo flour, DiNapoli tomatoes and buffalo milk mozzarella, so we could show off the oven and our pizza at it’s best. We had a small space behind the booth, with two refrigerators and prep tables, that served as a temporary prep kitchen.
From the opening minutes of the show on Tuesday, to the final hour on Thursday, the booth was busy with media, architects, designers, builders and appliance dealers interested in the pizza oven. Show attendees crowded around the oven, asking questions about how it came about and how it all works. We fielded a ton of questions, and among the few we heard the most were, “when will it be available” and “can it be installed outside on a patio”. At times the crowds were large and we did our best to feed everyone! Chef Dante puts out another pizza for the crowd:
We hosted a well attended media event after the first day of the show. Taylor Dawson spoke about FirstBuild and some of the projects and Michael DiLauro spoke about the pizza oven and everything that went into elevating the pizza community at FirstBuild. Chef Dante went through a demo and invited the invited media to make pizza, which was a lot of fun. It was great to show off how easy the oven is to use!
In order to feed the crowds, we made dough in the morning before the show started and again at the end of the day before heading back to the hotel. We made 50 pizzas a day, mostly Neapolitan, with a number of pan pizzas thrown in to show off the oven’s ability to cook a variety of pizzas. Making 50 pizzas a day allowed us to serve about 600 slices a day and 1,800 over the course of the show. The best part of making pizza in the oven is that you can put the pizza in, wait a minute, turn it once, cook another minute and take it out. The results were the consistent every time and we didn’t have one “bad” pizza. This ease of use allowed us to talk about the oven and demonstrate its features, without having to always worry about how the pizza is cooking. Making an easy to use pizza oven was one of our top priorities and the KBIS show demonstrated that you could entertain and make pizza at the same time.
One thing we know for sure, the pizza oven attracts professional chefs! The last time we brought the pizza oven out in the public, we met celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian and he enjoyed our pizza. This time, we caught up with celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre, who loved our pizza. Chef’s Ludo Lefebvre, Dante Mirafiore and Michael DiLauro: