Lionel Vatinet champions North Carolina wheat
for La Farm Bakery’s 15th anniversary
Introduces new Piedmont Sourdough at the NC State Fair
This month, Lionel and Missy Vatinet celebrate La Farm Bakery’s 15th anniversary with a new bread – Piedmont Sourdough – which they will introduce at the NC State Fair. “There’s no better way for us to share our gratitude than by creating a bread made with flour that’s grown and milled right here in North Carolina,” explained Master Baker Lionel Vatinet. “Our Piedmont Sourdough is an homage to the farmers who are now growing hard winter wheat for us throughout the state, and to our community which has been so supportive of us over these 15 years.”
For several years now, Vatinet has worked closely with the wheat grower at Carter Farms, and the Asheville mill, Carolina Ground, to replace all of the whole wheat and rye flours used at La Farm Bakery with these locally grown and cold-stone milled, organic, heirloom flours. “This is a turning point in the American bread baking industry, and we’re proud to see North Carolina playing a leading role,” said Vatinet, expressing his excitement about the return to growing healthy, local grains in NC and nationwide.
Vatinet’s Piedmont Sourdough ($6.29/$8.29) benefits from a 3-day fermentation, similar to that of his signature 5-lb “La Farm” boule. Earthy and nutty in flavor, with a smooth crumb and crisp crust, this whole wheat batard celebrates the relationship between the NC farmer, the NC miller and the NC bread baker with a rich and nutritious artisan bread. Look for the wheat stalk stenciling denoting NC wheat.
Vatinet’s Piedmont Sourdough will be featured this month at the NC State Fair, from October 16 – 26. The well-appointed La Farm Bakery Bread Truck will be located directly outside the “Agriculture Today” tent (near Dorton Arena and Gate 1). There, Vatinet will serve a Piedmont Pimento Cheese and a Piedmont BLT on this new bread, in addition to offering other new items designed for the fair, and longtime favorites as well. Vatinet will also share his new Piedmont Sourdough at TerraVITA Food & Drink Event October 9-11, and daily in their bakery, at farmers markets and on their bread truck.
Lionel and Missy Vatinet opened La Farm Bakery in 1999 after Lionel Vatinet arrived in the US from his native France where he trained in a centuries old artisans’ guild for 7 years. There, he pledged to devote his life to teaching and sharing the art and science of bread baking. After consulting for professional bread bakeries worldwide and serving as the founding instructor at the San Francisco Baking Institute, the Vatinet’s chose North Carolina for Lionel’s own bread bakery. Today, La Farm Bakery handcrafts 1000 loaves daily, and offers 15 varieties daily, and an additional 20 seasonal breads yearly.
They are honored to be featured in Our State Magazine’s October issue, as “Carolina’s Best Bread,” and on UNC-TV’s “Flavor NC” October 16th and 19th. Vatinet teaches bread baking nationwide, at his bakery, and in his home kitchen. In 2012, Saveur Magazine named La Farm Bakery among the “20 Great American Bread Bakeries,” and in 2013 Vatinet introduced his first book, “A Passion for Bread: Lessons from a Master Baker.”