Rising Star - Éric Kayser enters Best Bakers Top 10
French baker and Phaidon author is in Dessert Professional's 2015 hit list of US talent
It's unusual to say the least to pick up childhood reading and arithmetic skills from cookery instructions. but if you've witnessed it in your friend's kids or maybe even your own, chances are they could be destined for a lifelong love of food. This was certainly true of the French baker and Phaidon author Éric Kayser, who has just been named one of North America's best bread bakers by the magazine Dessert Professional. In an accompanying interview with the mag, Kayser reveals that he indeed, “learned how to read in recipe books, and started counting by weighing flour.” He goes on to say that, “since I was three years old I have naturally known I would perpetuate the know-how I inherited.”
Of course, Kayser comes from a long line of French bakers, and founded his own boulangerie in Paris 18 years ago. However, his inclusion on this American list – alongside such notable US bakers as Keith Cohen from New York's Orwashers Bakery and Mark Stambler from LA's Pagnol Boulanger – comes partly on the strength of his Manhattan bakery, at 1294 3rd Ave. It's there that he's gained a reputation for offering both authentic, European baked goods, and innovative, worldly confections, featuring such adventurous ingredients as green tea, squid ink and orange-flower water.
As Kayser explains to Dessert Professional, his technique is quite distinct too; Kayser bakeries employ a long proofing process, and favour a select group of flours, as well as natural, liquid yeasts.
Nevertheless, he says one of his favourite breads to make remains a simple, signature, baguette, named after the Parisian street where Kayser started out. “I can never say no to a fresh, delicious Baguette Monge,” he says, “but sometimes I like to switch to something more exotic with the Curcuma Viennois bread, to name one.” All of which is starting to make us feel a little peckish.
We would like to congrulate M. Kayser on his well deserved place in the list. And if you'd like some insight into the way he bakes, including recipes for his baguettes and speciality breads, might we suggest you buy a copy of his new book here. And, even if you don't follow the recipes, perhaps you can use them to teach any budding bakers you know how to read and add up.