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Artisan Baker Richard Miscovich to Present on the American Wood-Fired Food Scene at Sterling College

16 Sterling Drive
Craftsbury Common, VT

June 14, 2016 • Craftsbury Common, VT • Residential and commercial wood-fired ovens have become wildly popular over the past twenty years, and cuisine fired by wood-generated heat is being served in backyards and high-end restaurants all over America. Author, teacher, and baker Richard Miscovich will be sharing his burning passions for both wood-fired cuisine and working with wood-fired ovens at Sterling College.

Miscovich will present “Utilitas, Firmitas, and Venustas: Function, Durability, and Beauty in the American Wood-Fired Food Scene” at Sterling College on Tuesday, June 21, at 7 p.m. at Common House on the College’s campus. This talk is free and open to the public. There will be a Q&A and book signing afterwards, and copies of his book From the Wood-Fired Oven (Chelsea Green, 2013) will be available for sale.

Utilitas, firmitas and venustas, also known as the ‘Vitruvian Virtues,’ were put forth by the Roman architect, Vitruvius (75 BCE – After 15 BCE) and dictated that all components of architecture, including the building, should be functional, durable, and beautiful. Miscovich will present a photo-rich lecture that connects small-scale agriculture, the revival of local mills, oven construction, and the contemporary American food scene.  He will demonstrate how principles of function, durability, and beauty interact with and influence the work of grain growing, milling, oven construction and bread baking.

“Bringing together the farm, mill, oven, and bakery,” Miscovich explains, “is a way to integrate traditional infrastructure with local, high quality ingredients. The alchemical catalysts of fermentation and fire transform those ingredients into beautiful, functional foods with evocative flavors and long shelf lives.”

Richard Miscovich is a Department Chair and teaches artisan bread baking to culinary students at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and to home and professional bakers at classes and conferences around the country. In 2014, he received the Johnson & Wales Distinguished Scholarship Award. He is the author of From the Wood-Fired Oven (Chelsea Green Publishing) and instructs the online Craftsy course “Handmade Sourdough: From Starter to Baked Loaf.”

The vibrant working landscape of Vermont has been the inspiration for Sterling College’s curriculum for a half century. Sterling's sustainable agriculture and land management programs were among the first in the nation. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College connects the College's mission of environmental stewardship education by linking ecological principles of land management with the entrepreneurial community-building spirit of today's artisan food movement.

The School of the New American Farmstead programming is generously supported by Chelsea Green Publishing, the preeminent publisher of books on the politics and practice of sustainable living. Chelsea Green, an independent publishing company, works with authors who bring in-depth, practical knowledge to life. Their titles provide readers with accessible and implementable knowledge about subjects at the heart of the Sterling College curriculum: organic farming and gardening, permaculture, ecology, the environment, simple living, food, green building, sustainable business and economics, among others. Many of the School of the New American Farmstead’s esteemed instructors are authors of widely read Chelsea Green titles.





Founded in 1958 in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, Sterling College is the leading voice in higher education for environmental stewardship. The College was among the first colleges in the United States to focus on sustainability through academic majors in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Food Systems, and Outdoor Education. Sterling College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is one of only eight federally recognized Work Colleges in the nation.


Christian Feuerstein, Director of Communications, Sterling College

802.586.7711 x164 •