Rising Star Baker Neil Blazin of Driftwood Oven - Biography

Pittsburgh, PA

November 2016

If there’s something innately beautiful about the prospect of mobile, wood fire oven-baked pizza on its own, Neil Blazin somehow makes the whole concept even better, combining the power of pizza with his artisanship.  

Before he brought Pittsburgh a glorious moveable feast, Blazin was living outside the city in Moon Township. A chance encounter, or more likely several slightly intentional encounters, with his future wife found Blazin falling in love and starting a new life on Pittsburgh’s Southside. He’d been working in the food world for some time, mostly in the front of house, but once he started baking in 2013, Blazin fell in a love again.

He started his first bread program at Trevett Hooper’s Legume Bistro, a Pittsburgh landmark. Blazin was able to study and expand his skills among Hooper and his staff, which included Blazin’s future partner, Justin Vetter. The two didn’t just click socially, but professionally; they wanted to work for themselves, and Blazin wanted to create his own revolutionary bread and pizza program. The result—Driftwood Oven—took to the streets of Pittsburgh in 2015. One year later, Blazin was was awarded as a StarChefs Rust Belt Rising Star. Their mission, and Blazin’s goal as a baker, isn’t to simply create the highest quality naturally leavened breads and pizza dough, but to do so with a strong ethical backbone based on hyper-local sourcing. He buys his flour from a 25-year-old family run farm, where the wheat is grown and ground to order. If Pittsburgh has a revolution in baking authenticity, it has Blazin to thank.