Daniel, the son of celebrated sculptor Lynn Chadwick, grew up in a home charged with artistic creativity. Rather than following in his father’s footsteps, he initially chose engineering as a career and went to work for engine manufacturer Lister Petter. He eventually switched to architectural design and joined Zaha Hadid’s internationally-acclaimed practice. In 2009, Chadwick teamed up with engineer Guy Adams to create the perfect modern pizza oven.
In 1995, Daniel Chadwick set out to solve the problem of cooking the perfect pizza at home—quickly and without needing a professional wood-burning oven—which requires an incredibly high temperature and a porous surface. For years, he experimented with a range of prototypes and materials in his quest to find the solution. He used clay and then metal, but the bottom of the pizza always burned before the top cooked properly. It wasn’t until he teamed up with engineer Guy Adams, that we was able to fine-tune his ideas and solve certain glitches scientifically. By using gas and channeling the heat in a specific way, they were able to develop a product to fit the bill.
Once the design was perfected, Daniel and Guy worked with local manufacturing companies to make the oven’s individually-designed components, right down to its quirky stainless steel pizza paddle and tailor-made box. At the same time, they put their invention to the ultimate quality test by handing over four prototypes to cooks at Giffords Circus, who took them on tour in a special wagon. “It’s been fully tested,” laughs Daniel. “Giffords made more than 10,000 pizzas over two years.”
“Making the Chadwick Oven has been a huge challenge: we have had to design a piece of equipment that’s suitable for mass production rather than a one-off and, due to the absence of any market data to prove the demand for a stove-top pizza oven, I’ve had to take on all the risk myself,” says Daniel. “Everything for this project has had to be custom-made and the result speaks volumes about the quality of what remains of British manufacturing.”
“My goal is to wean people off pre-made pizzas and to encourage them to make their own from fresh ingredients.”