Wednesday, July 29, 2009

no shock, we're offerin' great value

Bakery business is doing well. Not surprised, what we are selling is truly good value. I mentioned before that I'm a member of the Baker's Dozen. I spoke yesterday to fellow member, Rich Eberle at Reuter's bakery in Chicago. He said things are busier than he expected. We agreed, us retail bakers, are offering good value at a fair price. He said "people are catching on". You should see the fruit danish that went to the GCM this morning. Topped with fresh pitted sour cherries, blackberries, blueberries, sliced peaches, on top of a blend of pastry creme, lemon curd and almond creme. Just sinful. It's really not fair to the grocery stores, convenient stores,national chain coffee shops,etc.

The Andersonville market has outgrown one van. Tonight we are sending two vans down. One will unload and return to the bakery. We are making onion walnut bread, Irish Soda bread and pumpkin sourdough, as our special breads this week. The onoin walnut bread is stunning. Thick slice of that spread with some Brunkow, raw milk cheddar cheese. I twittered it this morning, that combination, "will put ya next to heaven, promise". Filemon Vega, our resident sourdough specialist, has incredible talent. Started in the bakery, knew nuttin' 'bout bakin'. Now, straight up, bulletproof. He use a blend of unbleached, whole wheat and rye for the onion nut bread. Levain, toasted walnuts and diced onions. You should smell it comin' from the oven. It's right out of France. Very traditional.

Speakin' of France, I'm going to France in April to manage the two American competitors, participating in the Masters de Boulangerie event. As of the 2008 world cup, the French bakers have decided to hold the Europain convention every other year. The Coupe du Monde is a part of Europain. They decided to do the coupe every four years. They will skip every other convention. I can understand why. You'd have to see this to believe it. Nobody can imagine the work that goes into it. Two years is not enough time to hold a baking competition, so instead of waiting six years, they decided to hold a little different competition in 2010. They have chosen twelve bakers in each of the three categories, to compete individually against each other. The competitors that finished in the top three in their category, during the last coupe get an automatic invite. I'm not sure how they decided who fills the other nine spots. Peter Yuen and Dara Reimers will represent USA. Peter will compete in the viennoiserie category and Dara will do an artistic piece. I was asked by the BBGA to go to Paris with them and act as manager. I agreed to do it, before I saw the job descritpion. Kinda like missing a committee meeting. I got a multi-paged email yesterday. I'm good with it, as long as there aren't any fundraising duties.

We are leaving six days before the event, to practice in France. This whole Coupe du Monde is sponsored by LeSaffre yeast company. They will host us and allow Peter and Dara to practice in a laboratory bakery in one of the yeast plants. Probably in Lille, north of Paris. The rules were sent to us in March. Peter is off to a good start. He is really more of my responsibility. Dara is going to be aided by Solveig Tofte, the bread baker from the 2008 team. Solveig, for whatever reason, rejected the chance to bake in 2010. I totally understand, the coupe experience is brutal. I could never do it a second time. Over teh next eight months, Peter and Dara will travel around the country, working with past team members. Of the eighteen team members I know, going back to '92, I think there are only two or three, who are no longer involved with the process. speaking for myself, I'll never miss another coupe. It's in me, deep in me. The two guys I baked with, our coach and manager, I hold next to my wife and kids. There isn't a day goes by, hell, maybe an hour that I don't think back to that experience. I still don't believe I was a part of that team. It was never fun, but oh so special.

Gotta get upstairs, had a sluggish levain for the Irish Soda Bread, for tonite. Probably ready now. Been sittin' at room temp for three, four hours.

I'll keep ya posted about the progress preparing for Paris.

If you can get down to the Aville market, get some o'that onion bread. You owe it to yourself.


Blogger Laminatrix said...

That onion bread is probably illegal in several states. I ate about a third of a loaf last night (with just butter). You people who didn't get any? I feel sorry for you.

July 30, 2009 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger Jory Downer said...

I tried telling 'em. I twittered yesterday. I blogged about it.

ya buy 'em books, and all they do..........


July 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

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