Great Wall Pizza Cook-off!
A couple of months ago, John, Jade and fixer extraordinaire Peter built a wood-fire pizza oven at the Gung Ho Hut, J & J’s beautiful property in Jiankou right beside the Great Wall. It’s built entirely from second-hand materials, from the scavenged bricks (sorry neighbors!) to the massive cast iron wok that forms the roof and took the better part of two days. Pretty impressive non?
We still hadn’t had a chance to give it a test run as we’d all been crazy busy getting this new store up cranked up, so a few weeks ago we thought we’d take a break and give the ol’ pizza oven a whirl. So we brought up the GHP team and had ourselves a classic pizza cook-off!
We had Gung Ho Pizza maestro John and Pyro Pizza head chef Josh front and center, with GHP store manager Ronan and his wife Cathy, Jade, Peter and myself along for the ride! We’d raided the GHP and Pyro kitchens for dough balls, cheese, fresh herbs, chicken, pepperoni, nearly everything you could think of – except a rolling pin, which is why you can see Ronan in the video rolling out dough with a wine bottle (we had plenty of wine)!
Wow! Even after a just couple of minutes in the oven the smell of the pizza cooking was just incredible. John went for a classic gourmet thin-crust while Josh went New York-style. It was hard to tell who’s was better. With the hand-made dough and fresh ingredients cooked before our eyes in a (not-so) traditional wood-oven – not to mention the pure Jiankou mountain air and a chilled glass of Kiwi white wine – it’s hard to to imagine anything not being perfect.