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New wood-burning stove has arrived to North Bend High School

The Blazing Bulldogs Catering open for business
JILLIAN WARD The World Feb 15, 2017

NORTH BEND — The Blazing Bulldogs are open for business. The North Bend High School culinary class, taught by master chef Frank Murphy who was first trained by chef experts in Ireland, purchased a portable wood stove that can cook everything from meats to pizzas.

It will be used as part of the regular classroom curriculum, as well as by a core group of students who will take it to events and fundraisers to bring in money both to the class as well as to
the district.

The money to purchase the $25,000 wood-burning stove came through a Career and Technical Education grant from Oregon Department of Education for $45,000.

“The idea for the grant is to bring in equipment, stuff we wouldn’t be able to afford without it,” Murphy said. “I was looking around and wanted to redo the classroom, but that would take a whole lot more than the $45,000 we had.”

Instead, he ordered new stoves, washers and refrigerators, but that still left quite a bit of money. He knew about wood-burning stoves from looking into and building one for himself, and thought it was time to purchase a professionally-made stove for his students.

“As a teacher, you’re always looking for something to get the kids excited,” he said. “If you get them excited, they might start a career but also cook for themselves. Also, right now the wood-burning stoves are trendy. They’ve been around for ages, long before the elective stoves, but they are very popular now.”

Murphy found a company in Denver, Fire Within, that specializes in making these stoves. He spoke with the owner, who became invested in the project and put in a tile design of a bulldog on the side for free.

“We will use it for fundraising, which is why it’s mobile so we can take it with us to venues,” Murphy said. “We can move it anywhere around the district. When we cater, we aren’t buying anything. We make it here in the classroom. All of this will bring money back to us.”

Murphy doesn’t want to take money away from professional caterers in the area, but wants to focus on doing business with companies, organizations and non-profits. For non-profits, he “has no problem looking after those people if we cover our costs with other events.”

“We will never lose money, but make money, and that is also very exciting,” he said. “I can’t wait.”

To book the Blazing Bulldogs, email Murphy at [email protected]

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