Our Stefano Ferrara Oven
“I was only thirteen years old when I went with my father to built my first oven to the famous Neapolitan Pizzeria Brandi and the passion prevailed over me….” -Stefano Ferrara
Obviously the most visually entertaining component of the FRANK’S experience and the heart and soul of our restaurant is our 6,900 pound Stefano Ferrara wood fired Neapolitan pizza oven, only the second one in the state of Louisiana.
Stefano Ferrara, a 3rd generation Neapolitan oven maker, makes each oven by hand, brick by brick in Napoli, each one taking up to ten days to construct. Santa Maria bricks from Campania are used in the walls and dome, the cooking surface is Biscotto di Sorrento and all of this is put together with mortar made from volcanic ash from nearby Mount Vesuvius. The interior dome’s roof dimensions are 18″, perfect for Pizza Napoletana, allowing it to radiate searing heat from above, cooking the top of the pizza in the same amount of time the retained heat in the floor cooks the pizza from below, producing a true 60-90 second bake time indicative of this style of pizza. These ovens routinely maintain daily dome temperatures in excess of 1,000°F for 20+ trouble free years before any maintenance might be required.
It’s the intense heat this oven generates that plays a huge role in why Neapolitan pizzas taste so great, but this heat requires constant care and attention. This ancient style of oven is a dynamic, living thing, the fire constantly in flux, always heating up or cooling down. The way the oven stores the heat, the smoky flavor imparted on the pizza from the wood and the speed at which it cooks are all the keys to producing true Pizza Napoletana.