Last fall, as I was contemplating my move back to Los Angeles, I started adding LA food sites and bloggers to my Facebook and Instagram feeds. I knew some of the bigger names from LA, but wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the food (and especially the pastry) scene was about to enter. One of the most exciting things I read about was Smorgasburg. An import from Brooklyn, this outdoor market was set to feature dozens of food vendors every Sunday in downtown LA. The early list of vendors sounded fantastic and I couldn’t wait to check it out.
Smorgasburg opened in mid June, and about six weeks later I finally had a free Sunday where I could check it out. A giant food bonanza like this is best attacked with a group, and so I started off with Kasey. We met first in my neighborhood where she was checking out the Melrose Flea Market with her visiting sister and some friends.
Free hot dogs to start off the day? Why not?
When I was a child, one of my simple (and regular) pleasures was bread with butter. I wasn’t terribly picky about the bread itself, although the bread of choice in the house was often egg bread from a local bakery, sliced extra thin. In fact, extra thin-sliced bread was such a commonality in my house, that I wasn’t even fully aware that there was such a thing as normal or even thick-sliced bread. (The worldview of a child is a magnificent and naive thing of beauty.)
Not only did I love bread, I was a fairly picky and plain eater. I can recall the joy of tearing off a hunk of challah on Fridays in elementary school after the entire school had gathered for the Oneg Shabbat assembly. And I also recall the horror of seeing my friends taint (in my mind, not theirs) their challah experience by dipping it in the Hi-C grape juice that was also a staple of these Friday afternoons.
A boule of T85 and Khorasan flours, picked up at Smorgasburg, and made by Bub and Grandma’s Bread.
It’s been quite a long time since I last attempted a post on this blog. An entire summer has come and gone, and now the days are getting shorter and the weather is…well, here in LA it shows no sign of getting cooler. What have you missed? Well, an entire job has come and gone and while I won’t go into many of the details here, it was a whirlwind of an experience.
This summer, I got to:
- Learn from, and get to know, an amazing, accomplished and well-respected pastry chef.
- Hire, train and work with my first-ever pastry staff.
- Be part of a brand-new bakery opening its doors.
- Develop new recipes.
- Work almost 260 hours over twenty-seven consecutive days, and enjoy nearly every minute of it.
- Use a cash register. The kid in me loved that.
- Make and eat doughnuts. Every. Single. Day.
While I had certainly expected this (ad)venture to last longer, I gained an enormous amount of experience and knowledge before I left. And as they saying goes, “When one door closes, another one opens.” I am opening that new door and am very excited about what lies ahead. However, I need to get a few more ducks in a row before I can share more on that.
Superb (and enormous) slice of carrot cake from The Palm in Beverly Hills.