Whether you are visiting for an Open Oven or a Booking, planning your trip to the Park Avenue Community Oven will help ensure fun for all. This page provides information on restrooms, what to cook, what we provide, items to bring, and suggestions for planning additional activites to enhance your visit to the oven.
There are no washrooms at the oven site (yet) but there are public washrooms available nearby at Alderney Landing or the Halifax Transit Bridge Terminal.
What to Cook:
During our Open Ovens, we welcome visitors who are planning to cook pizzas, roast vegetables or anything completely wrapped in aluminium foil.
The baking or cooking of “speciality” items is discouraged during Open Oven time as the oven is normally quite busy and optimised for cooking pizzas.
When you book the Park Oven though, only your imagination limits what can be prepared in the oven.
- Anything you can cook in a cast iron pot or pan (Steak, burgers, bacon, eggs and more)
- Anything you can wrap in foil and place in the coals (fish, sweet potato, beets and more)
- Anything you can bake in a pan (ensure that your pan is rated for 1000F or higher)
- Assorted bread or tortillas to bake
What we Provide:
- Several picnic tables are located around the oven.
- 3 large stainless steel countertops for food preparation.
- 5 pizza peels large enough to make 10-12 inch pizzas.
- Running water (June to October).
- The oven and the wood to heat it.
- Trained volunteers to keep the oven fire lit
Everything else must be brought by the visitor.
Items to Bring Checklist:
Prepare for a trip to the Park Oven as you would for a camping trip or visiting the beach.
For making pizzas:
- A rolling pin
- A pizza cutter
- Flour or cornmeal (important to keep your pizza from sticking to the peel)
- Cooling rack (optional but pizzas come out piping hot!)
- Toppings (Caution – only bring toppings that are safe to be eaten raw. Toppings won’t have time to cook through before your crust is done e.g. don’t bring raw hamburger.)
For making pizzas and/or any other type of food:
- Cooler bag or box
- Food to cook or bake (Obviously!)
- Side dishes
- Refreshments or containers to fill from the water tap (Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the park)
- Table cloth(s) for picnic tables
- Reusable plates and cutlery
- Cleaning supplies (Cloths, spray kitchen cleaner that is labelled food safe, SOS pad or another scouring tool)
- Pro tip: pre-moisten a cloth and seal in a zip lock bag for clean up
- Portable chairs and/or blankets to sit on
- Event tent/canopy
- Small garbage bag (There are garbage cans at the park entrances)
- *For larger groups – consider renting a portable toilet/wash station
Avoid pizzas that are either frozen or pre-made using raw dough and on a pan. They are not suitable for cooking in a wood-fired oven as they either will not cook evenly or will be difficult to transfer directly to the stone cooking surface. Pizzas should be fresh, thin crust, with toppings that can cook quickly. Partially baked crusts or pizzas are normally okay as long as they are not too thick.
Planning additional activities can enhance your visit to the oven. Feel free to use some from this list or to think of your own great activities. Or just come and cook!
The oven is located in the beautiful Leighton Dillman Scenic Park in the Dartmouth Common. The location lends itself well for groups and individuals looking to enhance their visit by planning fun activities in the beautiful surroundings.
Here is a list of some common activities:
- Games (Frisbee, badminton, washer toss, ladder-ball etc.)
- Explore the scenic gardens
- Make art
- Playing guitar
- Explore Downtown Dartmouth