Forno Bravo makes Commercial Pizza Ovens for all kinds of businesses, including fully mobile operations. Read on to meet Diedra Keogh of Kickin’ Ass Mountain Pizza. The Keogh family took a unique business path as they followed their passion for delicious food, ultimately, making a Forno Bravo wood fired oven and a Fire Within Pizza Trailer part of their journey.
The Keoghs of Kickin’ Ass Mountain Pizza
In July of 2017, 8 years after starting the discussion of “Wouldn’t it be fun to…”, husband and wife team of Patrick and Deidre Keogh and their three children, ages 15, 13, and 11, officially made the leap away from traditional jobs and launched Kickin’ Ass Mountain Pizza (KAMP) in the small town of Hartsel, CO. Working with Fire Within, a long time Forno Bravo dealer and mobile concessionaire specialist out of Denver, CO, they purchased a compact Tailgate trailer and pizza oven made with the Casa2G100 Modular Kit. This oven can cook 3 pizzas at a time, and up to about 70 per hour.
When they started the business, Patrick took the role of Fire Master and primary pizzaiolo, and Deidre did the food prep and other aspects of the business, since she readily admits, “I was scared of the fire.” Well, time has changed that. Now she can’t get enough of cooking with a wood fire! They use the oven for their business, but also for many of their regular home meals as well. The kids have even gotten involved, taking their turns at the peel and helping to come up with new pizza ideas for the menu.
When asked what is KAMP’s best seller, Deidra said that, “Hands down, it is the Thai-Basil Chicken Pizza.” The sauce starts off with a sweet note, but has a real kick at the end that will make the back of your throat tingle! The pizza is topped with fresh oven roasted chicken, garlic, shredded mozzarella, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt on the crust. After baking, it is finished off with crema, cilantro for brightness, green onion, and a more of the Thai-Basil sauce. The sauce was originally developed in-house for their popular chicken wings (which are par-grilled and then oven baked), but customers started asking them to put the sauce on a pizza too. The result was so good that they have been selling out of it up to 3 times a week!
A Different Approach to Gluten Free
KAMP prides themselves on hand-kneading their dough, making all of their sauces, and preparing almost all of the ingredients from scratch, not cans. Though a lot more work, the resulting flavors and quality control are worth the effort. Early on, Deidre was not pleased with the gluten-free pizza dough recipes available, so the family decided to switch gears. Patrick discovered that wood fire roasted portabella mushroom caps were delicious and could be topped successfully with just about anything. This became their new gluten-free “crust” and has been very well received.
Living the Dream
Kickin’ Ass Mountain Pizza was a business that started literally on the side of the road on the way to the big Colorado ski resorts, and has since blossomed into serving catering engagements, frequent stops in some of the area’s smaller towns by request, regular support of a local distillery tasting room, and even doing events at the County Fairgrounds. Asked to sum up their experience of running KAMP, Deirdre told us, “Buying this oven was the best thing we ever did. No regrets! We now know that this is what we are meant to do. We are living our dream!”