Custom 10x16 Aurora

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A hand-built clay oven takes pride of place in Kathy and Mike Lehr’s backyard, the site of intensive cooking classes and sumptuous al fresco dinners. Their Aurora barn has a workbench and stainless steel kitchen tables that let students do last minute prep or cool freshly baked loaves. A loft stores containers and extra-long utensils.

“Ovens like these were used by ancient tribes across the US and Mexico. They provide conductive, convection and radiant heat all at once. Having a beautiful, fully enclosed classroom nearby is so helpful when I teach cooking classes ... and it's great for entertaining, too.”

Nationally known chef Kathy Lehr constructed the clay oven herself. She also makes wood peels needed for breads and pizzas and grows a delectable array of gourmet vegetables. While the oven can be used for almost anything, Kathy’s focus is on artisanal breads of a quality few have ever tasted. 

Lehr learned from Danielle Forestier, legendary baker who mentored Julia Child in breads. Forestier calls Lehr, “the best bread maker east of the Mississippi.”

The highlight of the evening is a blend of great food and friendship amid a refreshingly spontaneous entertaining style. Everything is prepared with the freshest ingredients, emphasizing authentic local sources, especially Kathy’s own breads.

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To inquire about cooking classes or buy a bread-baking DVD, contact Kathy at