In our annual Baker’s Dozen, we bring you today’s trailblazers who are changing the future of baking for the better. From millers and makers to philanthropists and pastry chefs, these are the 13 names you need to know.
Dominique Ansel Bakery| Worldwide
In February, what many have long suspected became official: Dominique Ansel is the World’s Best Pastry Chef (according to the critics behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants). But in classic form, this James Beard Award-winning baker and inventor of the revolutionary Cronut® isn’t content to rest on his laurels. “I always tell myself and my team, ‘Don’t let the creation kill the creativity,’” Dominique says. Beyond inventing a new breed of hybrid pastries, Dominique looks to inspire a modern class of pastry chefs.
“There’s a generation of chefs now who have only ever been taught to replicate,” Dominique says. “I push my team to think about food differently, to create and think about how to present something in a different way.” Dominique’s experimentation has led to a reinvigoration of pastry culture that is rapidly maturing into a full-blown renaissance. Keeping the creative process fresh doesn’t just mean changing the menu every six weeks or never repeating a flavor of Cronut®. For Dominique, it means global expansion with new bakeries in Tokyo and London, and a fearless dive into uncharted territory with the announcement for his first restaurant, set to open Fall 2017 in Los Angeles. The future of pastry is in well-qualified—and well-floured—hands.
Facture Goods | Columbia, Missouri
From jam spreaders to café au lait bowls, Facture Goods owner and artist Aron Fischer brings an artist’s eye to utilitarian kitchen tools. Using just his own two hands, he creates small batch kitchen wares and utensils with hardwoods, clay, and metal. Here, Aron gives us the scoop on what makes his products come to life.
Ebonized Brass & Wood Measuring Spoons
My goods are primitive modern. The hammered brass bowl can be looked at as more clean and modern, while the wood handle is more primitive and rustically carved.
The brass: I like the juxtaposition of different aesthetics, like brass and wood. Brass is awesome because it looks so Mid-Century modern when it’s paired with wood in certain tones.
The handles: The handles are sealed with oil and beeswax. Wooden spoons were the first kitchen utensil I started crafting by hand. I’ve been working with wood my entire life, and spoons are particularly important to me because they are universal objects used in almost every culture around the world.
Sarah Jones Garibaldi
Miss Jones Baking Co. | San Francisco, California
Sarah Jones Garibaldi, the founder and CEO of Miss Jones Baking Co., is a new kind of entrepreneur, bringing both science and a love for baking to the inventing process. She’s your health-conscious, modern-day Betty Crocker. With organic ready-to-use frosting and baking mixes, Miss Jones Baking Co. is crushing all things conventional and revolutionizing your baking aisle with products home bakers can feel good about using. More importantly, Sarah is getting the world excited about baking.
Customers go crazy for the company’s playful baking swag that includes everything from colorful offset spatulas and temporary dessert tattoos to apparel with catchy baking-related phrases, which helped the company gain even more exposure when Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg wore the “Bakers Gonna Bake” sweatshirt in a Super Bowl 2017 T-Mobile commercial. Sarah launched the company in October 2016, and in less than a year, 2,500 stores are already carrying the line.
The Community-Supported Baker
Barrio Bread | Tucson, Arizona
The only thing that Tucson locals love more than Don Guerra’s dark-crusted, artisanal bread is the baker himself. Don’s initial garage operation bloomed into a cult hit due to the devotion of what he calls a “tribe of bread lovers.” His commitment to locally sourced wheat and flour goes beyond a desire for taste and quality.
Don wants to inspire local pride and economic growth in the community that has so richly supported him. And while many other bakers around the country are moving in this positive direction, few have refined it in the way that Don has. He recently became the first recipient of a USDA Local Food Promotion grant, a $100,000 government-funded affirmation that what Don is doing goes above and beyond the local grain movement. “I want to make bread that offers a sort of terroir for Tucson, a real taste of what our land can yield. When you make bread like that, it becomes something we can all share. It becomes a taste of our city,” Don says. Members of his devoted tribe agree—their city tastes great.
I’m taking a trip to New York City later in 2018 and I am definitely going to check out the bagel place you mentioned. Honey water? It sounds odd, yet delightful. I can’t wait to try it!