Restaurants urged not to dismiss ‘wood-fired cooking revolution’

Andrew Manciocchi, Orchard Ovens

One of the UK’s leading suppliers of wood-fired ovens is expecting its equipment to become more highly sought-after by restaurants after a study showed consumers are rapidly embracing food cooked this way.

Orchard Ovens, which imports the Valoriani line of ovens to the UK, said a “wood-fired cooking revolution” is underway after a YouGov revealed consumers’ appetite for a wood-fired menu.

Its study showed that 27% of British adults now prefer food from a wood-fired oven, rather than a barbecue. While the majority (42%) still prefer barbecued food, Orchard has taken heart from the fact that more than a quarter of the sample cites wood-fired food as their favourite.

Orchard Ovens’ Andrew Manciocchi said the findings are likely to fire up eateries that have invested in authentic wood-fired pizza ovens.

“Wood-fired ovens have only been available, on any sort of scale in Britain, over the last ten years, which makes the findings hugely satisfying,” he said. “Nationally, 27% of people are able to adjudge food from a barbecue and food cooked in a wood-fired oven and know they prefer the latter – even though National BBQ Week and all of its promotion had just ended.”

Manciocchi said the Valoriani ovens it supplies boasts superior performance and heat retention properties due to the ‘cotto clay’ from which they are formed. It contains the optimum amount of alumina for the firing of refractory brick and which is only found in the Valoriani family quarry in Reggello, Italy.

Orchard is now launching ‘Wood-Fired Oven Sunday’ on Sunday 5 July as a way to celebrate wood-fired cooking and encourage people to try food cooked this way. It hopes restaurants with a wood-fired oven will take up the opportunity to join the occasion and showcase what makes the method special.

To tie in with the day, Orchard is offering restaurants a free three-piece pizza tool kit, worth £180, with any commercial wood-fired pizza ovens ordered before July 5.

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