The presenters who will be arriving in Mount Vernon from as far away as Maine and as close as the kitchens of the Northwest’s best bakeries are highly skilled, compelling food movement speakers and instructors. Among them, professional bakers, grain farmers, millers, malters, researchers, all are innovators who are daily in the forefront of replenishing the local grain scene where they live and work.
Steve Jones, “The Re-Decentralization of Wheat Systems: Kicking the Commodity Habit”
Stephen Jones is a plant breeder and the director of The Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center of Washington State University in Mount Vernon. His research has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Gourmet Magazine, Discover Magazine, National Geographic News and on the PBS show “Eyes of Nye” (with Bill Nye the Science Guy). Recently he authored the “Sustainable Agriculture” and “Wheat” entries for the World Book Encyclopedia. He has a Ph.D in genetics from the University of California at Davis and has been at Washington State University since 1991. He developed some of the most widely grown winter wheats in the Pacific Northwest. He is now working with small grains researchers, millers, bakers, and farmers from the U.S. Northeast to the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia and Alaska to reinvigorate local grains systems.
Jeffrey Hamelman is an employee-owner of the King Arthur Flour Company in Vermont and Director of the King Arthur bakery. He has baked and taught in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. In 1998 he became the 76th Certified Master Baker in the U.S. Hamelman is the author of Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes.
John LaBoyteaux, a grain farmer from Chico, California, will talk about growing the grain that will be part of the farmer/miller/baker demonstration. His flour will be milled using the mill designed by father and son team, Roger and Larry Jansen. Larry and his wife Christina Greer Jansen will lead a workshop that bakes using the freshly ground flour and they will talk about the special requirements of working with a local grain. Roger will demonstrate how to keep a small-scale stone mill sharpened, a skill that is in great demand by artisan bakers who want to depend more on local grains, freshly milled, but also a skill that is in danger of extinction.
Tod Bramble is the National Sales Manager of bakery flour sales for King Arthur Flour. He has been with King Arthur Flour since 2000, working with bakery clients all over the Northeastern United States in his role as Bakery Flour Sales Manager for the Northeast region.
Tod’s baking experience began in 1995 in Portland, Maine, where he worked in production at a local bakery using King Arthur Flour; it was the next step in cultivating his life-long interest in food, and it quickly became a serious pursuit. Through his experience as a baker, Tod became intrigued by the process of turning grain into flour and flour into bread, and, wanting to understand more about the ingredients involved, he went on to receive a Master’s degree from Kansas State University’s Grain Science program in 2000. While in Kansas, Tod worked at the American Institute of Baking in various capacities, first as a teaching assistant, and then as a set-up assistant during the short courses. In 2000 he moved back home to the Northeast to join King Arthur Flour, where he enjoys the opportunity to work closely with professional bakers, providing them with high-quality flours and helping in any way possible to make their businesses successful.
Kevin Christenson, Field Trip Connecting Farmer, Miller and Baker
Kevin and Matsuko Christenson have owned Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill since 2007. Fairhaven Flour began as a co-operative in 1974 and was an immediate success in the area. Although no longer a co-operative the Christensons remain committed to providing organic flour for discerning bakers throughout the Northwest.
Mel started her baking career as a dishwasher/prep person with Grand Central Baking Company. With a few years of restaurant and kitchen experience behind her, and a natural love of food and cooking, she was immediately intrigued by the bakers and the art of baking. Within a year and a half, Mel was the Head Baker at the Multnomah location. The experience helped to solidify Mel’s enthusiasm and passion for creating great artisan bread. After a stint in Seattle at Macrina Bakery as Head Baker, she returned to Portland and eventually worked her way up to be the Head Baker at Grand Central Baking Company’s Portland location. After 10 years she has returned to Seattle to take the helm at Grand Central’s Seattle production facility. She continues to be a largely self-taught baker, and has taken classes at National Baking Centre and SFBI. Mel has worked closely with Shepherd’s Grain over the years to implement a full switch to using their flour 100% in Seattle and Portland as well as currently working with Camas Country Mill to utilize their stone ground whole-wheat in as many products as possible within both bakeries.
Mike Dash founded Rolling Fire out of a love of cooking and the way that fire brings people together. Rolling Fire is dedicated to sharing the delight of wood-fired ovens and wood-oven cooking. If you’re attracted to wood-fired cooking, Rolling Fire will help you satisfy your passion! If you want wood-fired pizza for a party, they’ll bring their mobile oven and cater. If you want your own oven, they sell them; if you already have an oven they can come teach you how to cook in it, and they’re always happy to share their wood oven ideas and hear yours. Mike learned about wood ovens in Tuscany and then trained in pizza technique in Naples and at Antico Pizzeria, the U.S. office of the Association for Verace Pizza Napoletana.
Piper Davis is an avid baker and cook who inherited her ease in the kitchen from her mother, Grand Central Bakery founder, Gwyneth Bassetti. Piper is the driving force behind Grand Central Bakery’s commitment to sourcing excellent local ingredients. She and her team work with a range of producers, from small row crop vegetable farms in the Willamette Valley to wheat farmers with thousands of acres in the Palouse Hills, with the aim of bringing the best local ingredients to a wide audience.
Piper received training in pastry at the National Baking Institute, where she completed the Viennoiserie program. She is a member of the Chefs Collaborative, The Bread Bakers Guild of America, Slow Food, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and currently she is serving on the national board for the Chefs Collaborative.
Piper lives in Portland Oregon, with her partner David, where she enjoys riding her bike and skiing as much as throwing a dinner party.
Kiko Denzer started making mud ovens in 1994, but also digs dirt for making walls, gardens, and other sculpture. His books, Build Your Own Earth Oven and Dig Your Hands in the Dirt: A Manual for Making Art out of Eart travel a lot more than he does, so he has been in touch with a number of people who have used self-built earthen ovens to start small bakery and restaurant businesses (he recently completed his third small commercial oven for The Blue Goat restaurant in Amity, Oregon.) He uses a hybrid approach to maximize efficiency and minimize cost, and will discuss materials, techniques, advantages, and disadvantages of earthen ovens for micro-bakeries and small home businesses (including how to talk to the inspector about mud).
George De Pasquale is the owner of The Essential Baking Company in Seattle, Washington. His website describes his baking philosophy: “You should know right upfront: We’re fussy. Fussy about taste, the texture of our bread, the flakiness of our pastry, the richness of our desserts, and preserving the time-honored techniques of baking. And don’t even get us started about the importance of the pureness of what we put into our bodies or our impact on the environment.” www.essentialbaking.com.
Jesse Dodson, Professional Baking
Jesse Dodson is the New Seasons Market Head Baker/Bakery Merchandiser in Portland, Oregon. He was the baker at Olive Mountain Baking Company in Scholls, Oregon, where he baked organic, naturally leavened breads in the back half of a finished barn. Before that he was a lead/head baker at Delphina’s Bakery and Wildwood Restaurant, a culinary instructor at Culinary Artistry, a baker at Pearl Bakery, and the head cake decorator/pastry chef at Three lions Bakery, all in the Portland area. Jesse’s always been interested in the culinary arts, particularly in the physical science behind food production. He’s interested in fermentation and baking, specifically, because bread is a “cornerstone of food” and plays a big role in the history of food.
After having spent 25 years in the hotel and restaurant industry Mike, a life-long home brewer, decided to grow, malt and brew beer entirely from crops which he cultivated. Many hurdles including the sourcing of a combine and the plethora of nay sayers did not deter him and as a result we are now able to savor the delicious carbonated results of these past 10 years of experiments. In the brewing world barley is king but wheat and oats also make outstanding beer. All these crops have historically, and now in a revivalist fashion, been grown successfully on the west coast of this continent. With the generous moral support of mentors Steve Jones and Pat Hayes and with an ever watchful eye towards the weather this journey is far from over.
Mark Doxtader, the chef/owner of Tastebud Farm, has a passion for the rustic alternative to traditional catering. He believes in creating a community of members who are interested in sharing meals. His catering business grew out of Tastebud Farm which originated as a small sustainable family farm sitting on five-and-a-half fertile acres near Canby, Oregon. Because they were relatively small, they took care and pride in how they grew things, and were able to grow a diverse crop that included some fun and interesting vegetables, greens and herbs that are difficult to find in markets and offered a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. In 2000, in collaboration with the Portland Farmer’s Market board, he and his wife built a wood-fired brick oven in order to offer a delicious selection of rustic-baked goods, which were sold at farmer’s markets and other events in the Portland area.
Over time they began to focus more heavily on the catering side of Tastebud’s business. In 2005 they decided it was time to sell the farm and discontinue their CSA and produce offerings. They also decided it was time to move back to Portland. They have since devoted their entire business to wood fired baking and catering. In early 2008 they were finally, after many requests, able to open a small dining room.
Michael Eggebrecht, Professional Baking
Michael Eggebrecht is the owner of Artisan Baking Resources, Inc., an artisan bakery consulting company based in Stevenson, Washington. Michael allocates a portion of his time to technical services to both the WP Bakery Group, a company specializing in German manufactured bakery equipment, and King Arthur Flour Company, a supplier of high quality bakery flour located in Norwich, Vermont. He has been a member of the Bread Bakers Guild of America for many years and is a member of the American Society of Baking and a contributing writer for Modern Baking, Baking & Snack, and Baking Buyer magazines.
As a 9th generation baker, baking is in Michael’s blood; Michael has worked in and consulted for bakeries all over the United States and into Canada, not only baking and managing but developing formulas, troubleshooting, hiring and training bakers, selecting equipment, and advising on bakery layout. His understanding of all aspects of the bakery business – from bread and pastry baking to a strong understanding of the requirements for production facilities – enables Michael to serve as a resource for bakeries large and small. “Since I began baking at an early age I have always wanted to be an educator and consultant. I truly enjoy helping bakers succeed in this industry. Whether it is helping someone find meaningful work in this trade or helping a bakery owner tackle a new market with a higher quality product, this is what is important to me.”
Michael is an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoys time with his wife and daughter while not traveling around North America.
Lee Glass is a home baker who has had a multi-decade interest in the chemistry that underlies baking. Lee has taught at both the 2005 and the 2007 Camp Bread conferences. He enjoys helping professional bakers understand why things happen as they do in the mixing bowl, on the bench and in the oven. Lee believes that when bakers understand the reactions that cause doughs to behave as they do, bakers have more control of the process and therefore the product that eventually comes out of the oven.
Karen has been a Ph.D student at WSU since 2009. Her research interests include soil fertility issues affecting the quality of organic bread wheat grown in Western Washington and reconnecting producers, processors, and consumers in regional food systems. She grew up in Alaska, but has spent formative years in New York and Vermont, earning an M.S. in Soil Science from the University of Vermont (UVM) and working for UVM Extension focusing on agronomy and nutrient management before starting her Ph.D. Karen has been fortunate to have a variety of experiences and jobs before settling into crop and soil science research including working at a wildlife research station in Alaska, at a sheep farm, for an organic vegetable growers cooperative, as a beekeeper, and as a volunteer technical assistant with Winrock International in Central Asia.
Dr. Patrick Hayes is a Professor at Oregon State University, Corvallis. His research focuses on barley – in its many forms and uses. His current research interests include: development of winter habit barley varieties for malting and human nutrition; the many facets of winter hardiness; dissection of quantitative disease resistance; characterization and utilization of genetic diversity; stimulating local barley production; and barley quality assessment.
Dave Hedlin runs Hedlin Farms, a third generation family farm operating near the town of LaConner in the Skagit Valley of western Washington. Dave farms land that has been in his family since 1906, when his grandfather came over from Denmark (with a stop in North Dakota) and settled in La Conner. At present, Dave and his crew farm approximately 400 acres of owned and rented land with 200 acres certified organic and 200 acres farmed conventionally. Hedlin Farms’ main crops are vegetable seed, fresh market vegetables, wheat, barley, silage com, pickling cukes and pumpkins. In addition to producing a wide variety of crops, Dave has been working with WSU Mount Vernon researchers to host organic research trials. His work with the Nature Conservancy (Farming with Wildlife) has been detailed in the New York Times and other national media.
Nash Huber is the owner and operator of Nash’s Organic Produce. He was raised on a small family farm in Central Illinois and received a degree in chemistry and after college worked in R & D for a large commodity processor of corn and soy. In the ’60s he moved to Sequim, Washington and started farming. In the ’70s he moved to Dungeness, Washington and began farming on 1 acre. Today the farm is over 400 acres and employs about 30 people.
Nash helped start Friends of the Fields to conserve farmland and in 2006 he received the Vim Wright Farming in the Environment Award. In 2008 he received the American Farmland Trust Steward of the Land Award, a first for an organic farmer, and a vegetable producer. This year he received the Steward of Sustainable Agriculture Aware from the Ecological Farming Association of California.
Tom Hunton and his family operate a diversified farm in Oregon’s Willamette valley. Crops grown include several varieties of grass seed, clover seed, brassica seeds, meadowfoam, teff grain, soft white winter and spring wheat for export and hard red spring and hard white spring wheat destined for their new stone mill, Camas Country Mill. Ellen Hunton, the matriarch of the family is still active in the business, while Tom and his son Jason share responsibilities in their farm and mill operations. Tom’s wife Sue is active in marketing efforts at events and farmers markets with their crops and products and Jason and his wife Kim are expecting their first child in June. The Huntons also own and operate Huntons Warehouse, a grass seed, grain and legume seed cleaning facility and SureCrop Farm Service , a retail ag supply business providing crop inputs for both conventional and organic growers in their market area north of Eugene.
Jason and Kim are the third generation of Huntons’ to operate the farm which was started by Everett and Ellen Hunton in 1952. The farm is currently transitioning 200 acres to organic certification and these acres are devoted to producing grains for the mill, lentils, dry beans, buckwheat and forage grass seeds for use on dairies etc. The farm and mill operation are focusing increasingly on growing and processing nutrient dense, grains and legumes for the local food market in Western Oregon. They are partnering with Hummingbird Wholesale, a local wholesale distributor of organic and transitional crops to health food stores, grocery co-ops, bakeries, and schools in the local market area.
Camas Country Mill, which is in the final stages of completion is a 950 mm Skiold stone mill made by Engsko in Denmark. Huntons’ Farm and Warehouse and Camas Country mill are “Food Alliance” certified growers and processors and the warehouse and mill are also Oregon Tilth certified processing facilities.
Larry has been working with bakery goods for 30 years, evolving his baking knowledge and skills over these many years. This includes transitioning from working with commercial yeast to using natural starters and from using conventional baking ovens to using a beautiful clay oven in North Carolina to the present wood-fired brick oven in Hearth and Stone Bakery in Chico, California. Larry has been instrumental in designing and constructing the mills now being built and used and the ovens, proof boxes, and cooling racks were designed and constructed by bakery personnel. This type of whole grain milling has been called “single pass” by Monica Spiller and the smaller mills designed and built by the Jansens are ideal for small bakeries.
Chris has become an integral part of Hearth and Stone Bakery. She is the bread shaper, and the developer of value-added products, and responsible for maintaing contact with suppliers, customers, and clients. Prior to becoming such an important part of the bakery, she earned an MA in art and taught art in elementary and high school.
Roger was an elementary school teacher for many years. Through some strange concatenation of events, he wound up working at Meadows Mill from 1978-1982 as a grist mill stone cutter and built and repaired mills. After leaving Meadows he and his sons designed and built mills. He has given mill sharpening seminars and has presented workshops in elementary schools to give students hands-on experience in wheat seed identification, milling, stone cutting, and baking bread. For many years he sharpened the mill at Vital Vittels Bakery in Berkeley, California. He presently spends time making pottery, some of which you will see at the bread baking station, and is engaged in building two mills with his son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Chris, the bakers.
Jack Jenkins: Home Milling
Whole-grain guru, Jack Jenkins, is the inventor of the Country Living Grain Mill, a former nationally sydicated radio host and the father of seven children. Jack is dedicated to educating (anyone who will listen) about the virtues of whole grain food storage – and having the know-how to use it; thereby reaping the blessings of increased vitality and self-sufficiency. As part of this quest, he has just finished producing a 90 minute DVD, titled “Perpetual Harvest”, which chronicles his experiences learning to grow his own food year-round.
John has been farming since 1980, primarily row crop vegetables, hay and a small orchard. His home place at Camp Grant is 25 acres and has been certified as organic since 1987. In addition, some years he’s worked up to 75 acres with leases. He has started to raise wheat, with the help of other farmers, Norcalfirstname.lastname@example.org, only in the last three years. He served as chairperson of CCOF’s Certification Standards Committee and helped write the first processor standards and the first comprehensive livestock standards for CCOF. They also rewrote the state law which emerged as the California Organic Food Act of 1990, later eclipsed by the National Organic Program. He served for 20 years on the Board of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau including two years as president and currently serves on the Humboldt County Williamson Act advisory committee which he has chaired since 2002. John is very much involved in land use planning with particular emphasis on conservation of agricultural lands. In the past he has also served on the Boards of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), Southern Humboldt Farmers Markets, Northcoast Regional Land Trust and the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District.
John, also known as “Duff”, was a river guide on the Stanislaus, American, Rogue and other western rivers and still tries to get on the river whenever farming allows. He is a member of a number of conservation and environmental organizations and one of the founding members of the Sierra Club’s Inner City Outings Program.
Amber is a founder of the Kneading Conference which began in Skowhegan, Maine, in 2007. Concerned about their struggling rural town, she and several friends decided that restoring grain cultivation to area farms could be a sound foundation for sustainable development. Like most states throughout the nation, until the mid 1850s Maine grew 100% of the grains that fed its people and animals. The Kneading Conference was designed to bring together farmers, millers, bakers, researchers and eaters – everyone needed to rebuild and support a local grain system. When it became evident that farmers without a mill to process their harvest wouldn’t grow grain, she and Michael Scholz, another founder of the Kneading Conference, formed a partnership and purchased the empty county jail and are now in the midst of converting it into a grist mill. Amber, who was a speech therapist before becoming a grist mill owner, is Executive Director of the Maine Grain Alliance, the nonprofit organization responsible for the Kneading Conference, the Maine Artisan Bread Fair, and educational baking workshops for school children, and lives in Skowhegan with her husband and two children.
Cliff Leir has been baking bread in a wood-fired brick oven for 14 years. A self-taught baker, Cliff has become a fixture in Victoria, B. C.’s gourmet scene. In 2000, Cliff co-founded Wildfire Bakery, and then in 2009 opened Fol Epi, where he produces organic levain breads and pastries for a devoted following of customers. In both locations, Cliff built the bakeries’ wood-fired brick ovens. In addition he has designed and built several other ovens for commercial and home use.
Behind it’s charming storefront in Seattle’s Belltown, Macrina Bakery & Café is beloved by scores of locals who visit daily for breakfast, lunch, or a quick stop on the way home. The warmth and good food that are the soul of Macrina Bakery & Café owe their origins to owner-chef Leslie Mackie – one of the most esteemed figures on the national artisan baking scene.
Before starting Macrina Bakery & Café, Leslie Mackie was the head baker at Grand Central Bakery, where she introduced artisan European breads to Seattle. A native of Portland, Oregon, Leslie is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and started her career as an apprentice at Ernie’s Restaurant in San Francisco. She later moved to Boston, where she worked in the pastry kitchen of the Bostonian Hotel and eventually helped open Biba Restaurant with Lydia Shire and Susan Regis. It was while living in Los Angeles in the late 1980’s that Leslie caught what she calls “bread fever,” immersing herself in recipe testing and experimentation. Now, all of Seattle knows of Macrina’s irresistible artisan breads. Whether your tastes run to rustic potato; pear and cracked pepper; or crisp, crackly baguettes, you can find your favorite at grocery stores and gourmet shops throughout the region – along with more than 100 restaurants in the Puget Sound area.
Leslie’s recipes reach well beyond Seattle, from her appearances on Julia Child’s “Baking with Julia” television series (and inclusion in the companion cookbook) to a 1999 outstanding contributor award & a 2004 nomination for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” from the James Beard Foundation. Her media appearances are legion and include features in Fine Cooking, Sunset, and Pacific magazines, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Bon Appetit Magazine, and the LA Times – not to mention endless coverage and accolades in The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, and Seattle Magazine.
Leslie is an active member in the Bread Bakers Guild of America and Les Dames d’Escoffier. She lives in Seattle with her partner and her daughter.
Scott Mangold, the owner of Breadfarm, is currently busy baking bread and raising his family in the small village of Edison, Washington. He and his wife, Renee, run Breadfarm, producing a wide variety of naturally leavened loaves and delicious sweet treats using many local and organic ingredients. Scott is excited about the prospects of using local wheat in the bakery (grown just down the road), which he is currently test baking with promising results. As a presenter and member of the Kneading Conference West planning committee, he hopes to raise community interest and awareness of where their food is sourced as well as the benefits of building a regional market for wheat and other grains.
Andrew Meltzer, Whole Grain Viennoisserie
Andrew Meltzer is the baker for Stopsky’s Deli in Seattle, Washington, scheduled to open May, 2011. Andrew co-founded the Columbia City Bakery where he cemented his reputation as a master of a variety of breads and other baked items. He taught at the Culinary Institute of America and is a master at braiding challah.
David Mostue is the co-manager of his family’s 101-year old farm, Dunbar Farms, in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon. The farm originally produced pears but has been transitioning to a wide variety of crops including estate wine under the label Rocky Knoll. Dunbar Farms is working towards a full-diet CSA (grain, dry beans, dairy, veggies, fruit, wine and meat) and has partnered with local nonprofits to bring children to the farm to learn about agriculture. David is now three years into learning how to grow grains, integrating them into long-term rotations, sourcing and refurbishing grain equipment as well as working with bakers, retailers and other farmers to reintroduce locally-produced grain and flour into the community.
David is trialing plots of durum, hard red and soft white wheats, hull-less and hulled oats and barley, and rye, trying to redevelop the genetic stocks that show adaptation to the local bioregion. He is expanding seed quantities of pre-green revolution varieties that were grown in the region before the industry moved elsewhere and comparing those to the performance of modern, commercial varieties. David feels that the barrier to the success of the local grain market in most places is two-fold: access to and knowledge of the proper scale of equipment required to plant, harvest, clean and process the grain and convincing a market that is accustomed to absurdly low prices the true cost of grain production and a loaf of bread. www.dunbarfarms.com.
Julie Richardson co-owns Baker and Spice Bakery in Multnomah, Oregon with her husband, Matt Kappler. She is a classically trained baker and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She began rousing palettes and earning devotees with her hand-pies at the Portland Farmers Market in 1998. Prior to moving to Portland, Julie founded Good Earth Bakery in Ketchum, Idaho. A native of Vermont, Julie lives in Multnomah village with her husband Matt and a very big dog, Trygve.
Dr. Ross is an Associate Professor of Crop and Food Science at Oregon State University. He combines his science background with his professional training in artisan-styled baking techniques to discover best uses for Oregon hard wheat’s. He is currently working with professional baker Craig Ponsford to develop bread formulations using barley flours.