Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Graison Gill, Bellegarde Bakery

From Bellegarde's newsletter:

 But, as always, we’re here for the bread. And we’re here for the bread because our passion for it is insurmountable. What we need people to understand—us bakers, cooks, farmers, fishers, chefs—is that our careers are our identities. Baking is not just what I do: it is who I am. And I sit with a lot of gratitude for where I am and where I’ve been. But I am admittedly afraid of where we are going. Because I don’t think society is visualizing the extent of vulnerability that many of us are in: literal and existential. And despite some politicians and cultural figures who have attempted to disrupt our basic relationships, we have to admit how brutally interdependent we are and have become in the past year. We shouldn’t be in the business of building levees, or in the business of keepings things out. You don’t build bread with walls and boundaries. Because if it keeps on raining, the levees are going to break. No matter what, I know that me and the bakers at Bellegarde use our passion for bread not as a defense against the world; but as an offense. It doesn’t merely protect us, it preserves us.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

On the Road

 “In the window I smelled all the food of San Francisco. There were seafood places out there where the buns were hot, and the baskets were good enough to eat too; where the menus themselves were soft with foody esculence as though dipped in hot broths and roasted dry and good enough to eat too. Just show me the bluefish spangle on a seafood menu and I’d eat it; let me smell the drawn butter and lobster claws. There were places where they specialized in thick and red roast beef au jus, or roast chicken basted in wine. There were places where hamburgs sizzled on grills and the coffee was only a nickel. And oh, that pan-fried chow mein flavored air that blew into my room from Chinatown, vying with the spaghetti sauces of North Beach, the soft-shell crab of Fisherman’s Wharf — nay, the ribs of Fillmore turning on spits! Throw in the Market Street chili beans, redhot, and french-fried potatoes of the Embarcadero wino night, and steamed clams from Sausalito across the bay, and that’s my ah-dream of San Francisco…”

- Jack Kerouac