Top chefs from Los Angeles to New York are shunning traditional gas or electric methods for home cooking in favor of high-end, custom-installed wood-burning ovens and hearths. In a new video report from the Wall Street Journal (watch above), Wendy Bounds talks with “Mansion” reporter Katy McLaughlin and NYC chef Frank Prisinzano about this growing trend among some of the country’s most celebrated chefs.
McLaughlin sees the growing interest in wood-burning ovens at homes mirroring what is happening right now in the restaurant scene, where cooking over fire is very trendy. “The most expensive restaurant in San Francisco right now, Cezanne, is a restaurant that cooks only over fire,” shared McLaughlin. “Chefs really love and appreciate the simplicity and the rusticness and the flavor that wood will give grilled food.”
Prisinzano, whose home pizza oven and open fire grill cost him $115,000 to be installed, wanted something special for cooking at home, especially for the dinner gatherings he frequently hosts.
“I had this idea that I wanted to be able to have these very big, elaborate dinner parties at my house, and I wanted to be able to cook unlike anyone else would be able to, obviously,” said Prisinzano. “And there is nothing quite like fire. You get smokiness. You get the most amazing broiler in the world. You can get some really good color on things, and you can make real Florentine steaks.”
More affordable options exists, noted McLaughlin, who said she received quotes from masons in Los Angeles in the $6,000 range for very basic, outdoor, stand-alone options.
“Whenever you get into a chimney connected to a building, there is a lot of extra expense,” said McLaughlin.
For more on the various options and costs of wood-burning ovens, read Out: The Frying Pan. In: The Fire.