Visit North Carolina’s La Farm Bakery and you’ll discover a Master Baker who’s risen as one of the highest quality bead producers in America – Lionel Vatinet – recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a semifinalist for “Outstanding Baker” in 2015 and 2016. Thanks to his depth of knowledge – from growing and milling to fermentation and baking – Lionel Vatinet has been one of the foremost forces in American artisanal bread baking for the past 25 years, traveling the world teaching as a consultant to well-known bread brands, and finally opening his own bakery in Cary, NC in 1999, La Farm Bakery. In November 2013 Vatinet introduced his first artisan bread book, A PASSION FOR BREAD: LESSONS FROM A MASTER BAKER (Little, Brown & Co), sharing his techniques and teachings with home bakers everywhere.
Vatinet’s passion for bread was first nurtured when he joined France’s prestigious artisans’ guild, Les Compagnons du Devoir, at age 16. After apprenticing with European bakers, and forming lifelong friendships with other Compagnons such as Eric Kayser, Vatinet emerged 7 years later with hard-earned title of Maitre Boulanger, pledging to devote his life to teaching, sharing and preserving the ancient art and science of bread baking.
Rather than propagate secrets, Vatinet’s mission has always been to demystify bread baking. He’s dedicated his life to sharing his knowledge. Vatinet was the founding instructor at the San Francisco Baking Institute, the first school of its kind in the US. Bakers from the most respected bakeries in America – La Brea, Acme, Zabar’s and Panera – traveled to SFBI to study with Vatinet, who has been credited not only for his skill and passion, but also for his knowledge in maintaining quality while increasing production – a critical component to the growth and success of the artisanal bread baking industry in America.
After years traveling the globe with yeast and flour in hand, Vatinet, along with his wife and partner, Missy, realized his lifelong dream opening La Farm Bakery, and 10 years later, expanded with a café. La Farm Bakery is a modern bakery that continues the centuries-old baking traditions and techniques and honors the ordinary yet extraordinary boulangeries that once flourished in every little town in France. Vatinet produces 15 different styles of breads daily, and over 20 seasonal breads throughout the year using a European-style hearth oven, and is best known for his signature “La Farm” sourdough bread – an impressive five-pound boule with an intense flavor, similar to those still enjoyed on farms throughout France. Vatinet has a superior understanding of the fundamentals of French bread baking and a zeal for American innovation, and as a result has developed imaginative breads such as Asiago-Parmesan, White Chocolate Mini Baguette, Cinnamon-Raisin-Pecan, Multi-Grain and Honey-Spelt. Vatinet also proudly uses only Carolina Ground for his whole wheat and rye flours – flour made from organic, heirloom, North Carolina-grown and milled wheat, and historic Yates Mill’s cornmeal for his Yeasted Cornbread.
Vatinet’s achievements include coaching Team USA to the Gold Medal at France’s La Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in 1999, a spotlight in “Artisan Baking: Baking By Hand, The Recipes, The People, The Science,” and his breads have been featured at The James Beard House, in O Magazine, Food & Wine, Martha Stewart, and his cookies on “The Rachel Ray Show.” Vatinet continues to lend his expertise, consulting for bakeries, and teaching home bakers around the country, through the Bread Bakers Guild of America, and as the featured baker at Asheville’s Artisan Bread Bakers Festival. In 2012 Saveur recognized La Farm Bakery as one of the “20 Great American Bread Bakeries.”
From La Farm Bakery and café to area farmers markets, Whole Foods Markets, his new Bread Truck, and new book – “A Passion for Bread,” Lionel Vatinet has devoted his life to honoring the centuries-old tradition of producing artisanal breads, and delivering them from his hearth to yours.
Born & raised in Danville, Penn., Chef Craig Deihl grew up in a quintessential American household, where every evening dinner was on the table by the time his father was home from work. His mother, an “unbelievable” cook, graced the family’s table with homespun meals—a ritual which remains to be one of the biggest influences he has had as a chef.
Deihl is a founding member of the Butcher’s Guild, a network of meat professionals that promotes responsible butchering through education and community. Deihl was chosen in 2010 as Chef of the Year by the Charleston chapter of the American Culinary Foundation. That same year, he was a semi-finalist for a prestigious James Beard Foundation award for best chef Southeast, and was a nominee for the award in 2011 and 2012, as well as a semi-finalist again in 2013.
Through a partnership with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) and farmer Gra Moore of Carolina Heritage Farm, Deihl had the opportunity to be the first chef in over 100 years to utilize the rare American Guinea Hog. This same passion for preserving meat prompted him to adopt the CSA-like concept for meats, Artisan Meat Share (AMS). From 2009-2013, participants received local charcuterie and local farmers, in turn, received support from the increased product demand in what Deihl describes as a win-win scenario for both. In September 2014, Artisan Meat Share opened at 33 Spring St., providing a place where guests can enjoy all that AMS has to offer—all the time—including award-winning charcuterie, freshly butchered meat and delicious sandwiches.
To date, Deihl has produced over 90 types of charcuterie which have been prepared, stored and cured in-house at Cypress.
In Conversation with Barbecue King Myron Mixon! In barbecue, “old-school” means cooking on a homemade coal-fired masonry pit, where the first step is burning wood to make your own coals, followed by shoveling those coals beneath the meat and smoking that meat until it acquires the distinct flavor only true pit-smoking can infuse. With easy-to-follow, straightforward instruction, America’s pitmaster shows you how and also demonstrates methods for cooking on traditional gas and charcoal grills common in most backyards.
Myron Mixon has won more than 200 grand BBQ championships. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Smokin’ with Myron Mixon and Everyday Barbecue and the star of Destination America’s BBQ Rules, BBQ Pitmasters, and BBQ Pit Wars. He lives in Unadilla, Georgia. Can’t get to Euphoria? Come see him here!
ICW with Nichole Livengood of NicLive PR. Nichole is the proprietor of NicLive PR, a public relations and brand management company devoted to representing Upstate South Carolina’s food and culinary-related businesses.
M.Judson Booksellers & Storytellers
130 South Main Street, Greenville, SC
© M.Judson Books 2016
The Chocolate Moose Bakery & Cafe