Wood-Fired Brick Ovens: For More Than Just Pizza

Wood-fired brick ovens are often referred to as wood-fired brick pizza ovens. While we all love a good pizza, your wood-fired brick oven can do so much more than just cook pizza.

Wood-fired brick ovens heat quickly and create high, intense heat that is the secret to the great wood-fired taste – perfect for veggies, meats and a variety of other dishes.


Everything from pizzas to seafood, vegetables and even dessert, Belgard partner Chicago Brick Oven offers this handy recipe guide; check it out and see all the possibilities for cooking in your wood-fired brick oven.

Belgard Wraps Up House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year

We loved being part of the House Beautiful fifth annual Kitchen of the Year last week in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza. Belgard laid the groundwork with donations of pavers, wall products and fire features that added style and function to the outdoor cooking and living space.

Designed by one of the very best kitchen designers in the industry Mick De Giulio, the outdoor kitchen and living areas featured oversized Medina Slab that provides increased area coverage with fewer pieces, giving spaces grand appearances for a sleek, contemporary style with modern durability and design innovation. The Medina Slab is a new, limited availability product and we plan to expand production in 2013.

Weston Stone, which features a natural stone appearance, was used in the garden walls of the outdoor space. In the kitchen area were two custom-made Belgard Elements Bristol fire tables in Cotswold Mist with Brookstone Slate accents; the fire tables showed visitors how they can extend their outdoor living season with warmth and ambiance. The Belgard Elements custom-made kitchen cabinets and bar were made from Weston Stone in Cotswold Mist to complement the garden walls; the kitchen cabinetry and bar featured Urbana Stone banding in Brookstone Slate and a natural bluestone thermal-finish countertop.

Finally, the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year outdoor kitchen included an Etna Grande brick oven from Chicago Brick Oven, with an insulating design that creates a heating envelope so the oven heats fast to high temperatures and remains cool on the outside for year-round enjoyment.

If you didn’t get a chance to visit this year’s Kitchen of the Year, check out the photos below:

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Outdoor Entertaining Tip of the Month: Integrate Fire into Landscape for Function and Flair

The fire trend in outdoor living is getting hot, hot, hot! Homeowners across the country are looking to create outdoor spaces that they can enjoy year-round, and for many, that means adding a fire feature to extend their outdoor season. Adding fire to your landscape design transforms a grey space into a warming, inviting outdoor room that not only looks stunning but has a function to boot.

A Belgard Authorized Contractor can help you design the perfect backyard that complements your lifestyle, but to get you started here are three ways you can integrate fire into your landscape.

Firepit
Are you everyone’s favorite weekend host, beloved because you never cringe when friends stop by without warning? Then you (and your friends) will love a fire pit. A fire pit’s design is perfect for a large crowd to circle around. Sit, relax and roast marshmallows, share stories and laughs, and keep toes toasty into the night.


Outdoor Kitchen
Are you the next Top Chef ready to take those indoor cooking skills back to nature? Then an outdoor kitchen is your perfect fit. Entertaining guests outdoors has never been easier – multitask chopping vegetables, flipping flame-broiled burgers on the grill and reducing your homemade special sauce all while keeping your guests company outside.


Fireplace
Does a peaceful moment in front of a warm fire appeal to you? A glowing outdoor fireplace is just the right spot for you. Cozy up on a comfy chair with a good book and let the crackling sound of the fire relax the stress of the day away.


Click here to learn more about Belgard fire feature products and how to incorporate them into your landscape.

Outdoor Entertaining Tip of the Month: Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Fresh Herbs

When January’s chill is in the air, warm your senses, heat up your Belgard® Elements grill, and let the aromas waft along the noses of your eager guests as they patiently await this melt-in-your-mouth grilled beef tenderloin recipe. Grilling this buttery, fancy cut gives it a crunchy crust that makes the meat seem even more tender. The flavors of fresh herbs inside and crispy salt and pepper outside make this recipe irresistible.

Ingredients

1 center-cut beef tenderloin (3 to 4 lbs.)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
12 large fresh basil leaves
12 fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
6 to 9 garlic cloves, minced
About 2 tsp. sea salt, divided
About 1/2 tsp. pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sage, basil, or thyme sprigs

Preparation

1. Bring meat to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cut through meat horizontally (parallel to work surface) to within 1/2 in. of other side. Lay meat open like a book and spread with mustard, then top with basil and sage leaves. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

2. Close up roast and tie with cotton string at 1-in. intervals. Rub all over with oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

3. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect medium heat, using a drip pan filled halfway with warm water. Grill beef over indirect-heat area, covered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 130° to 135° for rare, 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer beef to a platter and let rest 20 minutes.

4. Remove string. Top beef with herb sprigs. Slice and add salt and pepper to taste.

How to set up your grill for indirect heat

*On a charcoal grill: Ignite about 60 briquettes on the fire grate of your barbecue. Let burn until coals are dotted with ash, about 25 minutes, then push coals to one side and lay a drip pan on the other side. Set grill in place.

*On a gas grill: Turn heat to high and close lid for at least 10 minutes. Adjust heat to medium and turn off burners as needed to create a hot and a cool zone for indirect cooking. Set drip pan in cool zone; set grill in place.

From Sunset magazine October 2010

Kitchen of the Year Wrap Up

Relaxing outdoors

Rockefeller Center in New York City was bustling with hundreds of daily visitors on site to view the House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year, featuring both indoor and Belgard® outdoor spaces designed by Chef Tyler Florence. With Belgard’s collection of patio pavers, pillars, walls, fireplace, and fully functioning kitchen with grill and brick oven, the outdoor area was a spectacle to behold. The area was set up so that you couldn’t help but meander out one of the many double doors onto the outdoor living room, dining room or kitchen. Anytime during the day visitors found a peaceful retreat in the center of Manhattan on the couches or at the dining room table. This space did exactly what a great outdoors space is meant to do: beckon you outside.

Before
Chef Tyler Florence outdoors

Designed by Chef Tyler Florence, the goal for this area was to create a space where people can share good company. He felt the need for the outdoor component based on his life in CA where being outdoors is possible all year long. “You want to be part of your events, so having a full kitchen outdoors brings the whole experience together,” Florence comments. This outdoor kitchen has all of his requirements: brick oven, charcoal grill, storage, fridge, and numerous chopping blocks to create work surfaces.

“The Kitchen of The Year was an incredible experience. To see all of the sponsor companies put together an exhibit of that magnitude in five days was amazing. However, I can honestly say the Belgard portion of the project was by far the best!” states Todd Sriro, Field Marketing Manager for Belgard Hardscapes.

The fireplace

Each day saw new cooking demonstrations (recipes at House Beautiful) and wine tastings. When a chef wasn’t creating a masterpiece inside, one could be found in the outdoor kitchen displaying their talents in the Chicago brick oven or on the grill. The outdoor kitchen’s U-shape allowed visitors great views while the chefs had everything at their finger tips. “Not only was the Belgard outdoor kitchen used throughout the week for cooking demonstrations and special events but it supplemented the indoor kitchen’s amenities. The outdoor sink and ice maker came in handy,” adds Mary Beth Sharp, Marketing Manager for Belgard Hardscapes who spent the week in NYC.

“It was a great experience and the outdoor living area really added a new dynamic to the event. Visitors loved the idea of expanding the home and entertaining areas outdoors,” comments Sharp. The kitchens will remain open through July. During August, the area will convert to “Bar 30” for snacks and cocktails. At the end of the summer many kitchen parts and pavers will be donated to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.

An outdoor kitchen…
worthy of the…
best chefs!

At Belgard, we want to create the best space for you. Using our website, an outdoor room or kitchen for your home is a click away. You will find listings of design centersdealers and contractors in your area to help get you started. We offer tools, such as our lifestyles catalog and the online visualizer where you can discover ways to create new spaces in your back yard, for your pool or for a driveway. Our catalogonline catalog and website have 100’s of ideas and photos get you started. Belgard | Be Prepared for Company!

Kitchen of the Year Opens Monday 7/18

View from W. 50th St. into the Kitchen of the Year set-up in Rockefeller Center

Belgard® is excited about their progress on the House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year, opening Monday, July 18th in NYC’s Rockefeller Plaza. The area went from a plain plaza to an indoor/outdoor chef-inspired entertaining space. Chef Tyler Florence has made the design in such a way that you can’t help but want to linger, smell the cooking and enjoy friends. They say the most popular place when entertaining is in the kitchen – and this set-up has both indoor and outdoor ones!

Belgard Elements

The outdoor space is designed around Belgard’s Bristol Elements Collection, including a U-shaped kitchen with a Chicago brick oven and a living area with a fireplace. To keep the design cohesive, the Bristol line’s coordinating kitchen pieces are used as design elements for the counters and cooking spaces. Medium Rare grills and accessories are integrated with this kitchen and come standard with the Elements line.

Outdoor living space

For the covered outdoor living room, the Element’s Bristol line outlines the living space using planters, columns and walls. In this space, seating will be abundant and the smells of Chef Florence’s cooking waft through the air. Visitors can relax and sip a glass of wine alfresco. Adding an outdoor space to your home is like adding on a new room.

Arrival of the pavers

The senses will have so much to take in, but not to be overlooked is the transformation of the grey road and sidewalk from drab to fab! The look now includes lively colors of the natural collection’s popular Mega Lafitt with its look of cut flagstone yet with the strength and long-term durability of a paver. Natural looking Mega-Arbel is used on the patio entrance and as accents, while Urbana pavers, also part of the natural collection, are used as trim throughout the project.

Below are some pictures of the building process. Using Belgard products makes installation a breeze! The Element’s items arrive in pre-made components, so they are set into place. All Belgard pavers are designed with the simplicity of installation in mind.

Come back next week to see photos of the final product! Click here for the schedule of events. Read previous posts.

Outdoor area being prepped
Starting the paver installation
Elements components
The U shaped kitchen keeps work and cooking areas within easy reach
Awaiting appliances
Appliances being installed
Brick Oven being “cured” = excess moisture removed
Come out & relax by the fire in the outdoor living space
Outdoor area before
Now a fabulous entertaining space