Archive for the ‘Asheville Artisan Bread Festival’ Category

Farm & Sparrow Bread

Farm & Sparrow Bread



Saturday, MARCH 23

Workshops – 10 to 6; Bread Tasting & Sale – 10 to 2


Mark your calendar. The Asheville Artisan Bread Festival, organized by baker Steve Bardwell, is in its ninth year and well worth attending. The atmosphere is charged with the enthusiasm of local bakers & bread lovers; its hard not to be caught up in the fervor!

According to Peter Reinhart:

“Asheville and its surrounding area, with a very small population, supports more artisan bakeries than most states. The bakeries are all small, but truly artisan in the purest sense of the word.”

artsan breads3 class photo

Attend the Bread Tasting & Sale:

Held from 10 – 2 at the Magnolia Building on the A-B Tech campus in Asheville, NC ~ this is your chance to sample and compare the breads from many regional bakers. If you buy a loaf of bread before they run out of tickets, you might get a free ticket to attend one of the baking classes.

Attend the Hands-on Workshops & Lectures:

Held from 10-6 at the Magnolia Building on the A-B Tech campus in Asheville, NC.

For bread-enthusiasts who want to improve their baking skills, there will be many workshops and lectures at A-B Tech taught by Craig Ponsford, Peter Reinhart, Lionel Vatinet, Emily Buelher, Eduard Thijs, and Jennifer Lapidus. There is also an off-campus opportunity to explore wood-fired baking with Bob Bowles. All the classes sound enticing. I am signed up for the pastry-making class and the gluten-free baking class.   Tickets are required for all the workshops.

Thinking of taking a bread class? Plan ahead because space is limited and classes fill up quickly…in fact many are already sold out – so sign up right away. Check out the class schedule here.

About some of the Instructors:

Craig Ponsford graduated from the California Culinary Academy with top honors and opened Artisan Bakers with his family in Sonoma California in 1992. In 1996 his breads won the Gold medal at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in Paris. He then went on to coach the US Team to victory in 1999. He has coached each U.S. team since and served as U.S. judge at the 2002 and 2005 Coupe du Monde and 2007 Louis LeSaffe Cup held in Argentina. Currently, he is an instructor at the Culinary Institute of American in St. Helena, California and has his own bakery/innovation center, Ponsford’s Place, in his home town of San Rafael.

Peter Reinhart, currently chef-on-assignment at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, is the author of eight bread cook books, three of which have won the James Beard Award. He is a widely respected teacher, author, and consultant. For a more complete listing of Peter’s  accomplishments, see http://www.co.lincoln.nc.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1368.

Lionel Vatinet, a French master baker, teacher, baking consultant, author, and owner of La Farm Bakery in Cary, NC is one of America’s most respected experts on artisan bread. He has dedicated his life to sharing his knowledge, consulting nationwide and abroad for bakeries, training bakers in Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America, Canada and the United States. In 1995, 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.

For more information contact Steve Bardwell at 828-683-2902 or wakerobinfarmbreads@main.nc.us.  http://www.ashevillebreadfestival.com.

Artisan Bread Fest 2012, Carolina Ground Mill 010


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In conjunction with attending the Asheville Artisan Bread Festival at AB Tech, many festival go-ers swung by the old Square D building in West Asheville to see the new wholesale production facility of Annie’s Naturally Bakery’s and to glimpse Carolina Ground’s new mill. Annie Ritota (owner of Annie’s bakery) and her husband Joe are both very genuine people who are full of heart. They love

The Mill, Carolina Ground

their new baking facility and (once they sell their home in Sylva) they plan to move to the Asheville area. Right now they have a very long daily commute. We wish them all the best!

The mill at Carolina Ground is up and running after various electrical snags. It is an absolutely beautiful piece of machinery that was hand-made in Austria. Jennifer Lapidus, director of the North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project, was busy showing folks around and explaining the workings of the mill. As one of the many Kickstarter donors to the mill project, I came home with a bag of Turkey Wheat Flour…freshly ground by the new mill! I can’t wait to bake some bread with it.

This was followed by a delightful dinner of fabulous food and exuberant conversation.

Jennifer Lapidus in front of various grains waiting to be milled. Grain raised by Kenny Haines in Eastern NC.

Jennifer Lapidus in front of various grains that are waiting to be milled. The grain was raised organically by Kenny Haines in Eastern NC.

Jennifer Explaining How the Mill Works

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Bread lovers alert! Where can you find all the best bakers in the area in one place at one time? The Artisan Bread Festival! The eighth ASHEVILLE ARTISAN BREAD FESTIVAL will be held this Saturday, March 24, 2012. This is your chance to sample and buy breads from area bakers, AND attend hands-on workshops and lectures about artisan baking, milling, and wheat itself. The fest happens from 9am to 6pm, with the bread tasting & sale from 10 – 2, and workshops from 10 – 4. Everything will be held at AB Tech in the Magnolia Building, with an Open House and a Bakers Guild Dinner to follow the event at 128 Bingham Road (see details for the Bread Fest, Open House, and Dinner below).

Asheville Artisan Bread Festival – Collage from their Website


10-2 at the Magnolia Building on the AB Tech Campus

Please note AB Tech location! Last year this part of the festival was held at Greenlife Grocery. The bakers will be selling only at AB Tech this year.

This is your chance to SAMPLE and BUY lots of amazing breads…and meet the bakers behind the bread. Buy a loaf and get a ticket to one of the Bread Fest Classes while supplies last.

Featured Bakeries in 2012 are:

Annie’s Naturally Bakery

Braken Mountain Bakery

Bread Technique

Brother Moon Bakery

City Bakery

Hillside Bakery

Farm & Sparrow Bakery

Flat Rock Village Bakery

Loaf Child Bakery

Riverblaze Bakery

Stick Boy Bakery

Tellico Grains Bakery

Wake Robin Farm Breads

West End Bakery

Wildflower Bakery

Author Treska Lindsey will also have a booth selling her wonderfully written and illustrated book – “How Batistine Made Bread”.


10 am to 4 pm at AB Tech (mostly)

The theme of this year’s festival is “Local Grain, Local Flour, and Local Bread”; the festival will feature experts on local grain production, milling, and baking with local and heirloom wheat. How do you attend a class? Tickets are required for all workshops, andonline ticket sales have ended. BUT (and this is one of the ultra-cool aspects of this event) when you buy a loaf of bread from a baker, you will receive a free ticket to attend one of the classes. You may not be able to choose which class, but any of the classes will be fabulous for bread-enthusiasts who want to improve their baking skills. You have a great chance of attending Peter Reinhardt’s class on Gluten-free baking because the classroom can accommodate 150 people. Check out the class schedule and a mouth-watering slide show of the Bread Fest at: http://www.ashevillebreadfestival.com/

OPEN HOUSE ~ 4:30 to 6:30

Carolina Ground Mill & Annie’s Naturally Bakery

128 Bingham Road, Suite 350, Asheville 28806 (the former Square D facility)

In conjunction with the Asheville Artisan Bread Festival, Carolina Ground http://ncobfp.blogspot.com/ will have an open house at their newly running flour mill. This beautiful mill will grind flour for local artisan bakers, specifically organic grain that was raised right here in North Carolina. Plus Annie’s Naturally will be celebrating their expansion in the same building – a new wholesale and production facility at the former Square D plant at Bingham Road. Directions link.


There will be a Bread Bakers Guild of America Guild Hall Dinner starting at 6:30 in the same building as Carolina Ground and Annie’s (128 Bingham Road, Suite 350, Asheville 28806).The dinner costs $30, includes wine and beer, and will be catered by the Culinary Commandos (recommended by Mark Rosenstein). There are a limited number of seats that are mostly full…so if you want to attend, arrive early and take your chances on getting a ticket.

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