Press & News

Jillyanna in the News


May 2014

Jillyanna’s Featured on

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


BY Susan Laughlin

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There’s nothing quite like baking bread or making pizza in an outdoor stone hearth — the blasting warmth, the woody smell, the high drama. It might take all day to get the oven to close to 900 degrees, but there is magic in that heat and excitement in the wait.

Fortunately, once at temperature, food caramelizes and cheese melts rather quickly and a satisfying pizza is close at hand.

Jill Strauss has a beautiful home in the backwoods of Kennebunkport and, after leaving the nearby school system, she looked for a way to share her passion for cooking and teaching. She had always loved Italian food, rustic cooking and, as she says, “I am madly in love with fire.”

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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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