We're trying to follow the season of what the garden produces to determine our specials.
—Steffen Zinn, owner
The wood-fired oven weighs 3600 pounds and reaches a temperature of 670 degrees.
It shoots out a pizza in about a minute and rolls around the city on
wheels. The Red Ember is Winnipeg's newest--and biggest--food truck and it hits the road for the first time today.
Steffen Zinn, a seven-year veteran of Pine Ridge Golf Club where he was executive chef, has been building his pizza truck since the snow was falling and is now set to start serving his pies at the Osborne Village Farmers' Market.
He'll also head down to the St. Norbert Market on Wednesdays and hopefully Saturdays soon, too. "I bought 1000 pounds of tomatoes last year at the St. Norbert Farmer's Market. I want to buy from the market and sell at the market."
On other days he plans to be downtown with the other food trucks.
The wood-fired oven can reach temperatures of 670 degrees (Steffen Zinn)
Zinn calls his pizzas neo-Neapolitan. He says his crust is a little crispier than an authentic Neapolitan because of the flour.
He's sourcing as many local ingredients as possible, including organic flour milled in Elie, mozzarella and fior de latte (fresh mozzarella balls) from Whiteshell Dairy Foods and pepperoni made from Berkshire pork raised by his brother and mother. "It's definitely a family affair," he laughs.
His tomato sauce is 98% Manitoban, with the only foreign ingredients being organic olive oil and sea salt from Vancouver Island.
Zinn has also planted a vegetable garden on his parents' farm, including 200 San Marzano tomato plants that will go into next year's sauce. "We're trying to follow the season of what the garden produces to determine our specials."
He plans to offer four pizzas: a simple caprese with fior de latte and tomato sauce, a grilled vegetable ratatouille, the gobbler, featuring turkey on a caramelized onion sauce and, of course, pepperoni and mushroom. "We are still in Manitoba, so you have to have the classic."
Zinn says he enjoys all types of food, but there's something so elemental about pizza. "You go back to the Roman times with the wood fire and the big stone oven and think how something so simple can be very delicious if you use the proper ingredients and put a little bit of skill into producing it. The pizzas turn out very nice."