Into the Fire Blog

For those who burn to learn


Mar 2014

An Interview with Jillyanna in Maine Women Magazine

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Press & News /


By Faith Gillman

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CAPE PORPOISE – Jill Strauss, president of Jillyanna’s Woodfired Cooking School, thinks she may have found what she wants to be when she grows up: a pizzaiolo. Strauss spent 15 years as a public school gifted and talented teacher, and had a career in print and radio journalism before she decided to follow her “great passion for cooking, entertaining, and fire” to open a cooking school with her partner of 20 years, Valerie Glynn.

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Nov 2013

TV Celebrity Rob Caldwell Gets a Private Pizza Lesson at Jillyanna’s

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Press & News /

It’s not every day that a local television star comes to your house for some instruction, but that’s exactly what happened this month! We were thrilled that Rob Caldwell, co-anchor of WCSH6’s 207 was so willing to be taught. The handsome newsman joined me at the demo station in our teaching kitchen, rolled up the sleeves of his pinstriped shirt, and mixed up a simple no-knead pizza dough for the electric oven. Rob  loved the Eggplant Parmigiana topping I added and his cameraman took some gorgeous close-ups of the finished product. They also watched me make a Neapolitan pizza outside in the wood-fired oven. Turns out the Crabby Cheddar Pie was so irresistible that both Rob and his “vegetarian” cameraman devoured their slices! I have to say that being televised on my own turf was not nearly as nerve wracking as going to the studio (as we did later this month for Good Day Maine) with all of my pots, pans and raw ingredients.

Our 207 appearance aired on Wednesday, November 13th at 7pm following NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams. It’s surprising to me that so many Mainers I know (my electrician, my hairdresser, the waitress at the Maine Diner, the cheese manager at Whole Foods)  caught the kitchen segment–and made a point of telling me they really liked it!  In case you missed it, or if you want to again see me refuse to shake the hand of Rob Caldwell (both of his hands were just too sticky with dough), watch below:

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Nov 2013

Make Pies to Die For – by the Boston Globe

Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Press & News /

David Lyon from the Boston Globe visited Jillyanna’s, a new culinary school in York County for the New England Travel edition column.

When I opened the car door and smelled wood smoke, I was pretty sure I was in the right place.  When I began walking up the gravel driveway and saw a petite woman in a full baker’s apron heading toward the gardet with scissors, I was positive.  Jillyanna’s Woodfired Cooking School stands on a woodsy residential road in Kennebunkport’s village of Cape Porpoise.  Jill Strauss moved to the site 26 years ago; last fall shea dded an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven surrounded by a broad bluestone patio.

Click here to read a PDF of the full article…

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