Marraforni Wood fired brick oven user and Titled “The Ambassador of International Flavors,” Ali Haider is the visionary & creator of 786 Degrees Wood Fired Pizza Co and we are proud to call him one of our Ambassadors. Even though Chef Ali is of Indian & Iraqi descent, he embarked on his culinary dream journey back in 2014 during his honeymoon in Naples Italy. When he tried his first Neapolitan Margherita; he had an “ah-ha! moment” that changed his life’s mission. Later, he returned to Naples to research and study the artisan craft of classic Italian pizza-making according to the rules of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana.

The Bombay Tikka Masala pizza at 786 Degrees in Sun Valley features San Marzano tomatoes, saffron tikka masala sauce, tandoor-baked chicken kebab, mango chutney, burrata, paneer, roasted sweet peppers, cilantro, olive oil, grilled onions, Himalayan salt, and Kaffir lime. (Photo courtesy of Ali Haider Ali).

With the desire to use traditional pizza as a base for a world of gourmet flavors, Pizzaiolo Ali opened his own restaurant leaving behind his successful career as a spokesmodel. He followed his vision and passion to form 786 Degrees in Sun Valley, CA, which in turn, in a year and a half of opening, was presented the title of the “Best Restaurant in California” by USA Today 2016. Recently Chef Ali and his team have begun offering mobile pizza experiences as well so that guests can have their “own personal chef with his mobile Italian kitchen making delicious gourmet wood-fired pizza at your next celebration or event.”

We recently caught up with the busy, world-renowned restaurateur/pizzaiolo and asked him to answer a few questions for us. Here is what Pizzaiolo Ali had to say…

What does the Marra Forni brand represent to you?

Happiness. Success. Style. Marra Forni Wood fired Brick Oven symbolizes the American dream. I can feel the struggles and sacrifices the Marra team would have gone through to become a leader today in such a small amount of time with being humble at the same time – a reflection of our philosophy.

Which Marra Forni Wood Fired Brick oven do you currently use? and the best thing about those ovens?

We have two ovens now. The first is the OG Marra started with old-school true wood fired Neopolitan brick oven Size 90. I think they might not even make that size anymore. I feel lucky to own it and still in use strong past 5 plus years with heavy production 7 days a week. The Things I love are the looks very authentic still get compliments – easy to maintain – we got awarded several awards with this oven including “Best Restaurant in California” and “Best Tasting Pizza in the Nation” by Food Network.

The second oven is the new 110 size – clean modern look – Wood-gas Fired Pizza Oven hybrid – all digital. My team loves this one because it is super easy to maintain and clean – only you (Marra Forni) would know you don’t use wood.. lol …we save a lot on wood with this one.

What distinguishes Marra Forni from its competitors in your opinion?

Hospitality their passion for their product each individual you talk in the company. Everyone Wants the brand to succeed this is a very unique attribute you can feel – your priorities become theirs that’s how much they support you and a Great Product Additional.

What foods do you cook in the Wood Fired Pizza Oven?

Pizzas – Lamb – beef – many different types of meat since it’s so versatile there is no limit my team baked Halal Thanksgiving turkey in it last year.

Wood Fired Brick Oven

How does the Wood Fired Brick oven affect your revenue?

It’s an investment -it’s not a gimmick on the side for sure – but one which will be with you for years to come – and the craftsmanship does make a huge difference as my first oven was built by me these are Ferrari and Lamborghini guys – it pays back 10 folds. I am very happy where I am today in my restaurant journey and part of it is making the right decision I’ll buy my next one in a heartbeat.

We thank Pizzaiolo Ali for his time and commitment to our industry.

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