Testimonials

 

See what some of our students are saying about us.

 

 

Wood-fired Oven Intensive

 

The 2 day intensive wood oven course was FABULOUS!! The amount of information, the level of expertise and the pleasant environment surpassed my expectations. Sandy and Michael are extremely organized, great technicians, and are most generous with their wealth of knowledge.  I came away with a solid understanding of wood oven cooking and know if I have any questions in the future, they will be a wonderful resource to tap!
Kathie D., Woolwich, ME   

As someone with a professional background in gourmet foods, I had high expectations for the wood-fired intensive class-- and I wasn't disappointed!  Michael & Sandy not only packed an incredible amount of learning into the two days, but they also made our experience fun and delicious!  Michael is an excellent teacher and I would recommend this class to anyone interested in baking, either with or without a wood-fired oven.

Kathy T., Philips, ME 

A tremendous amount of fun!  I love fire and I love to bake so this is the perfect union.  I learned things about baking that have dispelled miss-information that has existed for years.  Michael and Sandy's expertise and professionalism has resulted in a one-of-a-kind experience.  The hands-on segments of the class caused the time to fly by.  I would like to take some more of their classes.

Robert E., Springfield, MO

As a couple, we decided to take the wood fired oven intensive together - a great decision as it turned out that later, when we were at home practicing what we learned, we could support each other. The instruction is top notch, presented in a gentle and encouraging style. If you are hesitating about taking the intensive because it sounds intense, think again.  It is intense but worth the effort....  two days full of excellent hands-on practice, detailed guidance, good eats and great fun.

Deb B. & Jim L., Yarmouth, ME

Stone Turtle's wood-fired intensive course was invaluable — from teaching the basics of starting and managing the fire, to giving us the courage to cook our Thanksgiving turkey and trimmings in it , not to mention turning out pizzas, meats, vegetables and desserts on a regular basis.  I'd recommend the course to anyone considering building a wood-fired oven or who already has one but wants to enhance their skills.  The informal and enjoyable course also helped me find the right tools and ingredients to produce the best results.

Helen C. R., Cape Elizabeth, ME

Splendidly wonderful class!  Not just about teaching how to use the wood-fired oven but a lot of fabulous cooking and baking information.  The staff (all volunteers) creates a warm, friendly, casual atmosphere.  The food we cooked and ate was remarkably delicious.  I took the Pizza class, which was also incredible, but this course really helped me learn more about doughs.

Ann C., Groton, MA & Kennebunkport, ME

You asked us what we had learned.....had not had time to digest it all.  So here is my evaluation of me....Open fire cooking...I had only done pizza....so everything else was new to me!    Bread....an idea here and there on mixing and kneading....learned a lot on handling and baking.  Will be getting some duck cloth and making transfer board and hand peel.  And you all make it all fun!   And I learned a new way to fire oven...have not tried but I will.  Bottom line is that you have expanded the possibilities and the knowledge to pull it off.

Richard M., Springfield, MO

Even though I am just the sous chef at my house, I greatly enjoyed and learned so much from the course.  In addition to the great instruction, Michael and Sandy extended great hospitality to all.  I really appreciated the experience.

Janet T., West Fork, AR

I fired the oven with the perimeter burn system...worked very well...much better than fire in the center as I had done before.

Made 4 short handled peels.  Loaded in the kitchen then out to oven.  Open door and in they went...so much better than one at a time.  Also had made a transfer board...that is the best.  One screw up...did not remember to steam oven...in the past I have not as it did not make any difference...was not using enough steam....will get it all together next time.  After bread we did an Acorn squash and eggplant plus two brats......what a deal!

Thanks again... - Richard M., Springfield, MO

Splendidly wonderful class!  Not just about teaching how to use the oven, but a lot of fabulous cooking and baking information.  The staff creates a warm friendly, casual atmosphere.  The food we cooked and ate was remarkably delicious.  I took the pizza class, which was also incredible, but this course really helped me learn more about doughs.

Ann C.. Groton, MA & Kennebunkport, ME

Amazing class!  We learned so much and enjoyed ourselves in the process.  We  liked the combination of hands-on and demonstration to get in as much as possible.  The food was fantastic!  We're looking forward to experimenting with our masonry oven and most likely a new pizza oven outside.

Pam & Tom M., Strong, ME

Pies and Tarts 

 

Thanks for putting on the great Pies and Tarts class with Melissa!  That class was the first time I have ever made a pie crust, and I was very pleased with how all three pastries that we made, came out.  I have to tell you that this class, like all the others I have taken, is an exceptional value.  To be able to make three different pastry doughs and bake them off in a one day class is I'm sure a lot more than any other schools would offer.  The most important benefit, that I find, from the classes, is to be able to actually see what a particular dough is supposed to look like when made properly.  That is just not something that you can get out of a book.  Then, being able to bake if off in that fantastic wood fired oven is a bonus.  In addition to all that I have learned, I have enjoyed meeting a bunch of really nice people that all share my interest in baking.  I will be back for more classes, and I hope Melissa will be back again to teach  another class in the next session!

John G., Somersworth, NH

 

Pizza Plus

Thank you, thank you!  My day in the Stone Turtle kitchen learning pizza secrets was an ideal learning - baking - eating experience.  I crossed the border back into Canada around midnight and had an extensive chat with the border agent about wood fired oven baking.  Turns out she is quite accomplished in that area and envied my impulse to drive 1200 kms to spend a day in your kitchen!

Ann E., Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

 Thank you for such a well organized and fun class!  We all really enjoyed the day and had a great time learning about the oven, pizza, fresh mozzarella and stromboli.  You have a beautiful place and should be proud!

Steve McF, Scottsdale, AZ

Hi Michael
Thom and I enjoyed our day very much.
As far as Tom getting something out of your class, well just meeting you and Sandy was well worth the trip and the storm. You and your wonderful cheery wife do such a great job of clearly demonstrating how easily home bakers can make high quality artisan pizza at home. And I say easily only because you have taken all the bugs out for us.
In the past 3 years I have visited more then 40 artisan Pizzerias all over the country and I would put yours in the top 5.
Hope to be back with Tom for oven class sometime in 2014.

Ernie and Thom C., Lititz, PA

Sourdough Bread

The class on sourdough bread was very stimulating!  I have kept a healthy, good looking, starter going strong, and I am proud to say that we have not purchased a single loaf of bread since the class.  I bake many loaves each week including pita bread, English muffins, focaccia, baguettes and have even developed a few of 'my own' recipes. I keep my son's family well supplied with bread as well.  Your Polish Rye has remained a favorite with us all through the winter.

Robin S., Saco, ME

 

French Bread

I had a great time!  Thank you so much for inviting me up.  I am really excited about getting a Panyol 120 for my house. I will tell you the deciding factor was meeting you, and knowing I can take classes from a food master who also has a Panyol 120.  I look forward to many more classes at the Turtle!

Dan R., Millbury, MA

I just want to let you know that we have been baking breads every weekend for the week.  You taught me Chabatta and French breads and I have expanded to multi-whole grain boules, cheese breads, and English muffins.  Me thinks you created a monster.  I crafted my own custom peel to fit my oven and am making new shelves just to hold my supplies.  I want to thank you for teaching me the basics and being a great resource when I can't find an answer.

Marty T., Portland, ME

Thank you for another fabulous and insightful experience at Stone Turtle.  I am always a satisfied customer.  And so is my youngest daughter.  One boule gone in less than 30 minutes to dipping oil and spices.  As owners / instructors of the Stone Turtle Baking School you and Sandy have created the idyllic setting to conduct bread baking instruction. Your fully equipped school, wood-fired oven, intimate class size, and your shear joy and passion to teach and share the art of bread baking makes Stone Turtle the place to elevate your baking skill and connect to your internal artisanship.
 
Vinny F., Dunstable, MA

Thank you very much for your generous spirit and contagious bread enthusiasm.  I very much enjoyed the class on Sunday and won’t hesitate to send any of my future home-cooking students to Stone Turtle for bread expertise.  I appreciate the team work that it took to prep for the class and keep the timing perfect.  Not to mention the work that went into creating the studio/classroom.  I made some of the orange/honey compound butter and the bread gets better over time!  I am looking forward to making pizza for my son this week too.  Thank you for sharing your craft!

Joan T., Newcastle, ME

 

Breakfast Breads and Pastries with Chef Ciril Hitz

Another fabulous class at Stone Turtle… as usual, the class flowed beautifully with plenty of folks keeping the ingredients flowing to Ciril and whisking the dirty dishes away!  Ciril is such a wonderful instructor, full of knowledge, which he so readily shares.  He answers all questions and goes over things more than once if need be.  His sense of humor adds a nice lightness to the class while all the time being professional and exacting.  I learned so much in just 2 days and to top it off, went home with this pile of incredible goodies, which seems to be the norm at Stone Turtle - generous sharing of knowledge as well as product.  I always return home from a class at Stone Turtle fully charged and ready to go!!!

Kathie D., Woolwich, ME

 This class was amazing.  I left with so much information, great tips on purchasing product and presentation ideas.  The whole gamut was covered and the rum soaked raisins were a delight.

Trina B., Kents Hill, ME

Amazing, so much fun!  Can't wait to go home and start baking.

Sandie R., Springvale, ME

Stone Turtle classes are super informative to anywhere from the beginner to the experienced baker.  I will keep coming back.  Very friendly and lots of fun.  5 stars!

Deborah P., Showhegan, ME

 Never disappointing, always so much to learn!  Ciril was super, full of great information and such a great wealth of knowledge.  Cannot wait to try all the techniques at home.  Lots of fun as always.  Loved it - Thanks so much.

Rhonda & Louis C., (VESTA Mobile Wood-fired Pizza), Shirley, MA

 By my accounting, this has been my 4th baking weekend at Stone Turtle (2nd with Ciril).  Always a pleasure to enjoy the lessons, savor the treats and be with my "dough kin".

 Vinny F., Dunstable, MA

 A wonderful awakening to a new way of baking - weight measurement and temperature control.  I'll enjoy baking even more now!

Annette B., Kennebunkport, ME