While we don't want this to be an obituary site,I would be remiss for not paying memory to Alan Scott. A lot of bakers will have recognized the passing of Alan Scott, brick oven builder extraordinaire. My mate Graham has a great interview on his site, along with photo's of Alan Scott, Dan Lepard , John Downes while they were honored guests at first gathering of The Artisan Baker Association.
For a good profile of Alan, see today's NYTimes. Quoting from the piece, let's lay out his significance. Several thousand amateur bread bakers and thin-crust pizza makers now have backyard brick ovens, many with cathedral-like arches, that were built either by Mr. Scott, with Mr. Scott or according to specifications he laid out with his protégé Daniel Wing in their 1999 book, “The Bread Builders” (Chelsea Green Publishing).
More than a how-to manual, Scott's book is also a meticulous treatise on the history of bread making and the physics of baking, with instructions, for example, on how long to let the dough rise. Mr. Scott, who held instructional workshops around the country, played a role in bringing brick ovens to hundreds of bakeries and restaurants as well.
I don't own or use a brick oven in my apartment, but I have used a bodger oven in Wales while baking with my friend Rick, aka Moonbake.Rick installed a brick oven at home, and was advised on all technical aspects with the aid of Alan Scott and other bakers who shared in the art of oven building and bread baking. As home baking and oven crafting work hand in hand, we can thank Alan Scott for his inspiration. And it's my wish that we could have one of his ovens in our home to bake, cooking slowly in the old way with his modern adaption of this ancient technology. Following Joe Ades' death, this is the second time this week that we've had to say good-bye to someone who genuinely honored the world with their generous presence. May the rest of us be similary giving, having fun with life and giving it, in return.