New training centre lets buyers test drive pizza equipment

Andrew Manciocchi, Orchard Ovens

Restaurants struggling to recruit pizzaioli to operate their wood-fired pizza ovens now have a new option, thanks to the creation of a state-of-the-art pizza training centre and demonstration kitchen in Preston, Lancashire.

The new training centre has been established by Orchard Ovens by Valoriani, the importer and supplier of Valoriani pizza ovens from Tuscany.

It features two Valoriani ovens and a range of other equipment used in pizza preparation, including Friulco dough rounders and a Cuppone pizza press.

Rather than having to scour the market for a trained pizzaiolo, restaurants can book one of their existing chefs on to a wood-fired pizza oven course and have them trained by leading wood-fired pizza oven expert, Andrew Manciocchi.

Additionally, those restaurants and pubs considering installing a pizza oven can try before they buy and allow their chef to decide whether they wish to cook their pizzas in the traditional wood-fired way, or use a gas or electric oven.

This option is available thanks to a partnership between Orchard Ovens by Valoriani and Linda Lewis Kitchens, the UK importer of Cuppone pizza ovens.

Manciocchi said: “Training existing members of staff makes sense, as recruiting a ready-trained pizzaiolo can be a costly and time-intensive process and often involves restaurants having to check applicants’ right to work in the UK, which is a headache. Investing in a loyal existing member of staff can be a better option.

“Our new training centre, which enables restaurateurs to try out different top quality pizza ovens, to determine which they prefer to use, should tempt more eateries to venture down the pizza oven route. Our training delivers peace of mind and confidence to those buying a pizza oven.”

Manciocchi said the company has already had its first chefs and owners through the training centre and they have left with new skills and a much deeper understanding of the oven they intend to use.

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