Wood Fire Pizza Catering chef and owner Anthony Acker
beginnings of a wood fire pizza catering chef.
My formative years were spent on a farm and working ranch in Oregon. A rural life demonstrated to me fresh wholesome food and wood fired cooking. It did more than develop my palette and technical skills. It provided me with an understanding of how wholesome food helps your well being and creates the best flavors.
My later teen years were further transformed by moving to Portland, Oregon. My father gave me the opportunity to learn with James Beard at his Seaside Oregon Cooking School. The Dean of Gourmet fueled my passion for local, wholesome fresh food. Later, I started at Jakes Famous Crawfish in Portland, Oregon. Jakes was a legendary restaurant that created a new menu every day from local ingredients.
In my early 20’s, I expressed my love of fresh handcrafted food with the specialty artisan coffee and food movement. This culminated in my building, creating and expanding a European styled scratch bakery and café’ concept into nine locations.
An unlimited supply of scratch-made baked goods created my own gluten sensitivities. My personal and professional experiences lead me to natural yeast, fermentation and fresh ground flour. Through this, I cured my own digestion issues before gluten intolerance was a topic of conversation. The rise of the gluten-free movement and its false information inspired me in a new business direction.
My culinary career has culminated to bring a one of a kind dough topped with hand-crafted ingredients to Los Angeles the health capital of the world!
winning awards along the way:
Fresh Cup Magazine 1992 to 1998 – Worked closely with Ward Barbee as a result received multiple editorials, awards and article mentions.
Specialty Coffee Retailers 1992 to 1998 – Multiple article contributions and editorial mentions.
Oregon State Fair 1997 to 2002 – Blue and Red Ribbons: cinnamon roll, Italian sausage, chocolate cake, chocolate croissant, roast beef and baked bread.
Willamette Weekly 1997 to 2005 – Notable Awards, Best of Portland Cheap Eats and Top Bakery three times, multiple recipes, editorial mentions and article contributions.
The Rocket Newspaper 1999 and 2000 – Artisan Bakery and Café First Place Winner.
Portland Mercury 2000 to 2005 – Notable, PDX Approved Top Bakery and Café Annual Addition awards.
Portland Monthly 2003 to 2006 – Worked with Nicole Vogel to help shape the food section with editorial mentions and awards along the way.
Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School 2001 to 2006 – Awarded certification for teaching graduate internships (rare at the time for non school alumni).
Food Services of America 2006 to 2008 – Helped Tom Staley in their sustainability program, as a result, FSA became the first broad line food distributor certificated by the Food Alliance.
Food Service Consulting 2007 to 2015 – moved away from retail food operations and did numerous consulting projects for several food concepts and my masters in business administration.
January 2015 Wheat and Fire was born
Woodfire pizza catering is now my passion – I hope you will enjoy it with me!