Dry stacking stones lends itself to many applications. I am grateful to have been able to build many of them over the last 20 years - beautiful functional walls and terraces, benches and tables, sculptures, follies, stone huts and vaulted buildings, and occasionally bridges. Having just revisited the dry stone oven we built just last month at the big Canada Day celebration at the Chrystian farm near Grimsby Ontario, I am happy to report that it worked perfectly and that dry laid bake ovens can be added to the list of stone creations that not only are structural and look good, but also work surprisingly well.
The annual party held outside in a pear orchard on the Niagara Escarpment overlooking lake Ontario was hosted by Dave Chrystian the main chef at Victor's at Hotel le Germain in Toronto. He and several helpers in the food industry provided a wonderful afternoon (and evening) of food and entertainment as a way of saying thanks to the many suppliers and their families who he has got to know at Victor's Restaurant.
The quaint looking dry stone oven, it turns out, was the main attraction. David told me he started a fire in the oven at 9 am ( charcoal briquettes and then chunks of oak firewood) Six huge legs of prestigious Berkshire pork ( provided by Black Bow Farms in Southwestern Ontario ) went in the oven and cooked all day at a steady 300 degrees.
At 4:30 when we arrived the pork was almost ready and smelled delicious. Dave gave us a peek inside.
A crowd had already gathered to watch the action.
At 5:30 David's assistant Alex Tso carefully removed two of the legs which looked to be done, and then put in a tray of about a dozen good sized shanks of lamb. Jimmy Giggie of Wild Organics started cooking arctic char ( not from the Arctic but up the road in Ceemore Ontario, no less) which he had donated to the cause.
He used the special stone bbq we had built into the counter on the side of the oven to cook rack of lamb too. David skillfully cut up the meat and placed it on serving trays with scallions as people watched.
Everyone who came to the event brought an array of yummy side dishes to share. The meal was delicious and the meat was particularly tender and tasty. In the evening there was live entertainment and of course a fireworks display on the side of the mountain. Well done David another great event and thanks for inviting us to see your new oven in action.