10 August, 2016 Newsletter

10 August 2016

“The price of liberty is constant vigilance.”

The Ancient Greeks

Our emails, once a week, will keep New Orleanians informed about the State of Grain in our city and our region. Bellegarde is the only bakery in between Asheville and Arizona that stone-mills its own flour. We strive to source organic grains that we mill fresh and bake into healthy and delicious whole grain breads. We are convinced that the health issues which plague our city—obesity, violence, mis-education, ecological and cultural erosion—are bound to the lack of fresh food. Food access is a systemic Policy issue: everyday that we bake whole grain bread with freshly milled flour, we tweak one more nerve in the System. And each nerve pinched is our desire to re-establish our region as a self-efficient food economy and re-create the cuisine of New Orleans with fresh ingredients…a revolutionary Gordian knot.

We all speak the language of food and we all seek the pleasure of flavor. What more perfect medium to communicate change than with bread? Pandering to demand in a regional food system is not as important as nurturing supply: quality will dictate quantity. Help us democratize that staff of life. Splinter by splinter by splinter. Time will always teach that the easy way becomes the hard way.

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Tanka: The Tanka is a Japanese-style poem, an elongated haiku, traditionally traded by lovers the morning after illicitly un-sanctioned time. Lovers, in the best sense of the word, share everything except flesh. Move love beyond the flesh and find it there…Its meter is 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 syllables.

Quite a few came to us in Washington this past week, I’d like to share some. This one is inspired by Dr. Steve Jones of the Bread Lab, who conducted daily field walks at 4:30am, he mentioned hawks in the opening course of the conference.

Red tail hawks walk up-

on the earth. it’s we who fly.

daybreak bleeds between

crooked timber. clarity

of morning, gauze by breakfast.

New Blog

“A mentor’s role is to disrupt fear, never to displace it. Without that blood of doubt, we’d lack the oxygen of substance.”

A new blog is up, about my friend and mentor Sebastien Boudet. Read more here.

Mentors: This is from my journal, written about chef Chris Bianco of Phoenix (which he is in his own right), whom I met this weekend: “Dinner last night with Alon, with Chris. At Lark restaurant, on Seneca and Madison streets in Seattle, by a copy center and auto garage…oysters, fish cheeks, wet rice with bycatch octopus and Calabrian chilies: king salmon, tarragon butter, beef Carpaccio, squid ink pasta, Sonora crackers, oysters like briny butter slabs with all the moisture salted, creamed—it was like biting through thick silk, the size of a fava bean…and just looking at Chris. Listening to Chris. I feel this guy, not so much for his words, but for the way he speaks them. The way he massages meaning, the faltering and the sputtering and the body language. Beneath the bloody legs of the 2010 Sicilian vintage, the creamy rosé, the food, the lighting—this man rose like flames higher than smoke. He leaps…And I sat glazed, glued, bemused, tired. Who the fuck is this guy? Such vernacular, colloquial wisdom. Street poet, rough and portly and tossed like St. Paul. This man is democracy, the echelon of top tiers, such truth and Whitmanic yawp. Pulse. Deep breaths. Taste, talent; not quite humility, but a relentless vulnerability. A confident vulnerability. Where the rest of us skirt…He was open, wide, like a glass house. The man is a window, so sincere and attentive. He is ego, overcome, like a river run its banks: re-solved to its flood, the land and levee mere partners. He, Chris, made me feel big instead of small. I felt, I was made to feel, like a man instead of a dawdling, prodigal boy. The only problem meeting him was the divorce afterwards; when you accept your father (mentors) as a man, it sets you two apart. He is no longer spirit, but flesh. He wounds, his life is now your wounds. And that distance, that humanity, makes you his son. When you understand the origin of light, shadows lose their power. And Chris reminds that we are all adrift in the same seas, under the same carpet of stars; but it’s in looking up together that we feel life. It’s in looking up that we recognize constellations together, blink cohesion in tacit understanding, toss flags of Tibetan prayer into the wind. Make food to please others, because we are, all too often, unable to please ourselves.  Share ourselves.”

Buy Directly From The Bakery: Send an email to bellegarde.bread@gmail.com to buy bread directly from the bakery. Orders are due by 9:30am for the following day’s pick up.

We are selling our COUNTRY BREAD, $9 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
We are selling our COUNTRY RYE, $9 on Wednesdays.
We are selling our CIABATTA BREAD, $12 on Tuesday through Sunday.

We are also selling our fresh flours: organic polenta, organic grits, and wheat flours—stone milled fresh, in 2lbs or 20lbs bags. Inquire about price and variety.

Pickup is from 7am until 1pm.

New Orleans Advocate: Local writer Ian McNulty has done an incredible job telling our story—from top to bottom—in the New Orleans Advocate. Click here for the full read.

Soul Food

“The best things to do with the best things in life is to give them up.”

Dorothy Day. Catholic. Woman. Helper. (Saint)