We did end up with a few souvenirs from our trek up to Healdsburg before heading home from our long weekend in Napa. A tee shirt for Robert and one for me. A cookbook, too. And…more. A whole lot more.
Ross’s friend Johnny met us at Mugniani Imports, Inc. on Grove Street just as they opened a little after 8:00 a.m. Bigger than we expected, there was a 15,000 square foot warehouse / showroom and production facility on the premises. Our tour was quite impressive!
On it, we learned that internationally known Andrea Mugniani started the company in 1989 to share her love of authentic Italian wood-fire cooking and entertaining with others. Johnny told us that Mugniani imports their ovens directly from Valoriani in Tuscany. And these ovens are manufactured for both commercial and residential use. He also threw in that if we bought a Mugniani we’d be in good company because not only does Guy Fieri own these ovens, esteemed chefs such as Alice Waters, Emeril Lagasse and Nancy Silverton do, too!
I wanted to chime in then, that that last bit of info really wasn’t necessary. We, or should I say Robert, didn’t need any arm twisting. The look on his face then was one of a person already planning their first pizza party!
Once we scanned the rows and rows and rows of ovens, it was decision time. Johnny knew we were interested in a residential oven, a pre-fab, not a kit. Next, we had to decide on the style…did we want a Built In, Flat, Gable, Hip, Conical, Standard, Barrell, or Neapolitan Dome? So many to consider! We chose a Conical top. Then we had to pick the right size. The Piccolo 80 was too small, the Prima 120 was too big, but the Medio 110 was just right. The only other questions were: when do you want us to ship it to you and how do you want to pay for it?
On our end, we had many more decisons to make. Where in our backyard would be the best spot to put the Mugniani? What type of structure should be built around it? Would we need countertops and cabinets to make using the oven more functional? Who could we hire to help build this outdoor “environment”?
From my journal: February 3, 2016 Newbury Park, CA
“Our Mugniani oven arrived today! Ken and his crew have been working on this project for over a month now…making good progress.”
One thing really does lead to another. Almost five months to the day of purchasing our Mugniani Medio 110, Robert ceremoniously lit the first fire in anticipation of our first fire-wood cooked pizzas. Earlier that day, Robert made the dough and I made the pizza sauce. So that Sunday afternoon we were ready! We floured our wooden paddles and stretched out the dough just like we learned from Peter at Ramekins. My toppings were: sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni and kalamata olives. Robert chose: sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto, basil and an egg! After our first bites, all we could say was “Questa pizza e deliziosa!!”