11 Feb, 2016 Newsletter

11 February 2016

“Don’t leave bread or milk on the table
when you go to bed: it attracts the dead.
But under the mildness of the eyelid
let him, the magician, let him mingle”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Our emails, once a week, will keep New Orleanians informed about the State of Grain in our city and our region. As you know, 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. Each nerve pinch 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.

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Retail Bread: Please send me an email at bellegardebakery@gmail.com if you’d be interested in picking up bread from the bakery; we currently bake our country bread Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; we’ve also begun to bake a beautiful whole-grain RYE BREAD on Wednesdays. Pick up is available from 7am until 1pm on any of those days.

Bread Classes: I am very happy to announce that BELLEGARDE will be hosting bread classes once a month beginning this April. Classes will be on Sundays at the Bakery, from noon to 6pm, and everything will be provided: lunch, breads to take home, equipment, and flour. The purpose of the classes will be to democratize bread. That means we’ll only use equipment found in typical home kitchens and no tool will be digital: we want the pleasure of our craft to be opened and appreciated by everyone willing to take a patient crack. No kitchen aids, no mystique, no gimmicks or cookbooks. We’ll mill flour in house and the classes will be conducted by Graison and another Bellegarde baker. Classes are reserved to 12 spaces and tickets are $120 each, completely inclusive. Food industry folks and culinary students (NOCCA, Delgado) will receive 30% off in order to encourage the beauty of continuing education. Check this link https://bellegardebakery.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/bellegarde-baking-classapr2016.pdf  for more information and email bellegardebakery@gmail.com to register.

Awards: It is a great honor to have been awarded an Artisan award from StarChefs.com: http://www.starchefs.com/cook/events/rising-stars/2016/new-orleans.  I am particularly honored to be on the stage with Michael Gulotta and Blake Abene; these two individuals have offered unyielding support and enthusiasm for everything we do at BELLEGARDE. If it weren’t for every single friend and coworker at the bakery—past and present—there’d be none of it. Standing on the shoulders of giants.

Blog: A newer blog post is up: https://bellegardebakery.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/chergui/

Our New Stone Mill: Please visit our website to see pictures: https://bellegardebakery.wordpress.com/the-mill/ There is a short essay about our mill, and its importance to us. A tremendous amount of gratitude, awe, and respect go out to Andrew of Elmore Mountain Bread in Vermont who built the mill, like his breads, from scratch. Andrew is a fish out of water in these times; no words or gestures can explain our thanks. If you’d ever like to visit our mill, please call 827 0008 to schedule a visit.

Soul Food: Ovid’s Metamorphoses

“The time of Ceres’ [Demeter’s] festival had come, in duty kept by mothers every year, when, robed in white, they bring their first fruit gifts of wheat in garlands, and for nine nights count love and the touch of men forbidden things.”