There’s an on-going argument in Asheville of who makes “The Best Pizza.” Several local pubs and Italian restaurants vie for this title, but of course “best” is an evasive concept. After all, perception is one’s reality. So let’s speak in term of “special” instead of best, shall we?
Consider FRESH Wood Fired Pizza & Pasta in Black Mountain, NC, just outside of Asheville. This serene little village is known in the region for its pristine views, family values, and reverent support of local artists and entrepreneurs. Downtown Black Mountain consists of boutiques, ice cream parlors, wine shops and fantastic restaurants. It would appear Fresh owner, Mark Tomczak, chose the right place to settle!
Mark first moved to North Carolina to further his education as an artist. He attended renowned Penland School of Arts and Crafts, studying pottery for two years with the dream of opening a gallery. He pursued this dream for 12 years in Old Fort, North Carolina before another dream emerged. After a trip to Rome with his wife, he discovered a new passion…the art of pizza.
September 2010, Mark’s two dreams collided at the grand opening of Fresh Wood Fired Pizza & Pasta. This casual pizza kitchen embodies his love for food and love for art. Complete with a wood-fire oven imported from Italy and an assortment of Mark’s pottery on display; this establishment is “hand-crafted” in every sense.
Upon walking in the door you are instantly greeted by the aroma of rising yeast and artisan cheeses wafting out of a massive fireplace. Pizza dough is skillfully tossed in the air and then stretched as thin as windowpanes. The menu consists of pizzas with an unapologetic less-is-more attitude. Each pizza is layered with a few meticulously selected ingredients. After a trip into the fire, pizza arrives at your table piping hot with a blistered bubbly crust This is truly inspired pizza, made by the hands of an artist!
Mark not only has a strong culinary background, but his staff are masters of their craft as well. Baker Edward Clarey has been baking as long as he can remember and developed a spectacular gluten-free pizza crust that rivals the wheat crust. Every morning he bakes an assortment of hearty rustic breads for those that need a daily “Fresh” fix at home.
Fresh Wood Fired Pizza & Pasta is definitely worth a trip to Black Mountain. Mark Tomczak’s pursuit of simplistic perfection is a rarity to behold…and taste!
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