Although I did not reach my goals in the KickStarter project, I learned that there are quite a few local folks in Charlottesville who want to see a wood fire oven serving Neapolitan pizzas on Saturdays at the Farmer's Market! A great lesson, indeed. It was very inspiring to hear a woman yearn for an authentic Neapolitan pizza after experiencing it while living in Northern VA (Pupatella). Another tasted a Pizza Margherita in Naples and hoped that he could taste it again, closer to home. An American couple currently living in Brazil reached out to me, hoping to taste the culinary delight of Naples upon their relocation to Central Virginia next year. Then, there are folks (total strangers) who wanted to support the project for the sake of supporting a great idea! There were out-of-towner foodie supporters who reached out for my success just because. Big hearts, if I may say so.
Dolphins in Lahaina
I have met (and read about) talented cooks and bakers who have this wonderful story of growing up with their nonna (grandmother) in the countryside baking cookies, or memories of a wonderful kitchen filled with cinnamon scent in the air. Unfortunately, I don't have a nostalgic story to share. I grew up with an unlimited supply of chicken and pork adobo (flavored with garlic, soy sauce and vinegar) and deep-fried lumpia (egg rolls). In high school, I had my share of responsibility of cooking family dinners with frozen foods and canned goods. So we all have to start somewhere.
Thanks to my college friends of varying heritage and ethnicity, I learned to appreciate and savor the flavors of Indian, Italian, Swiss and, of course, good old American home cooking by my step-grandparents who were of German descent. There were family dinners with my college girlfriends and their families that helped expand my curious palate. Thanks to the Bhaduri, Boolukos, Savet, and Johnson families who took me under their wings during holiday dinners when I had no place else to go. Early on, I appreciated how food truly does nurture the soul. Who knows, I must love feeding others now since I truly appreciated and valued a good meal when it was offered to me. That's my psychological take on my craziness to start a wood fire oven business and feed the masses.