Meet Master Baker Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery at Asheville Bread Festival

Lionel Vatinet

Lionel Vatinet will be one of three of the most respected bakers in the United States at the March 23, 2013 9th Asheville Artisan Bread Bakers’ Festival.

A pioneer of American artisanal bread baking – Lionel Vatinet has devoted his life’s work to demystifying bread baking for professional and home bakers alike. After apprenticing for seven years in the prestigious French guild, Les Compangnons du Devoir, Vatinet emerged with the celebrated and hard-earned title of Maitre Boulanger pledging to devote his life to teaching, sharing and preserving the ancient art and science of bread baking.

Vatinet, respected among professionals for his simple and result-driven techniques, was the founding instructor of the San Francisco Baking Institute, and there trained many notable bakers, including those at La Brea, Acme, Zabar’s and Panera, consulted for bakeries here and abroad (in New Zealand, Europe, England, the Caribbean and South America), and coached Team USA at France’s La Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, before opening his own bakery in Cary, NC in 1999.

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. Authentic European breads, inspired combinations and locally grown and milled flour distinguish Vatinet’s high quality breads, demonstrate his superior understanding of the fundamentals of European bread making and respect for fermentation as well as his keen ability to enhance with innovation. Last year, Saveur recognized La Farm Bakery as one of the “20 Great American Bread Bakeries”.

Vatinet’s breads have been featured in Food & Wine, Saveur, O Magazine and the James Beard award-winning, “Artisan Baking: Baking By Hand, The Recipes, The People, The Science.”

In November 2013, Vatinet will introduce his first artisan bread book – “A Passion for Bread: Lessons from a Master Baker – Seven Steps to Making Great Bread,” (Little Brown). Finally, he’ll share his life’s work, depth of knowledge, passion and time-honored techniques for making authentic European breads at home.

Lionel’s teachings give readers access to the trucs, or “tricks-of-trade,” which have been passed down through centuries of bakers. Vatinet demystifies artisan bread baking with seven simple successful steps, and a highly instructive overall approach, including illuminating step-by-step photographs, an informative ingredient chapter including Poolish and Liquid Levain, an equipment list, and dough log – to help the baker track mixing, kneading, and fermentation times – for better accuracy, and even comments from home bakers who have baked Vatinet’s breads. In sharing 4 basic dough recipes, and the fundamentals of each, Vatinet enables home bakers to produce over 40 traditional European breads in their own home, even enabling them to impart their own creativity and create signature breads.

Many of Vatinet’s most well known breads are featured, including his signature “La Farm” – a 5-lb sourdough boule. Over 40 recipes are provided in the Sourdough, Classic French Bread, Whole Grain, and Classic Ciabatta sections, and savory dishes incorporating bread follow.

Illuminating historical and personal anecdotes from Vatinet’s life in France and America shed light on his rigorous training in the French guild, experience consulting for bakeries around the world, and at his own La Farm Bakery, and bakers with whom he’s worked throughout his career are highlighted alongside recipes.

Through it all, one thing is abundantly clear: Lionel’s deep passion for bread is matched by his unparalleled ability to explain the process so that anyone can make truly great bread at home.

La Farm Bakery
Preston Corners
4248 Cary Parkway
Cary, NC 27513
919 657 0657