Best Bets: San Francisco baker to share Northwest whole grain flavors


Chad Robertson, baker, Village Books

Author/baker Chad Robertson, who is testing a few Northwest-grown grains at WSU's Bread Lab in Mount Vernon, will share of some savory results at a bread-tasting/book-signing event at 7 p.m. Friday, March 28, 2014 at Village Books, 1200 11th St.


Fresh from publishing the third volume of the "Tartine" series of classic cookbooks, author/baker Chad Robertson will explore some new flavors as he tests out a few Northwest-grown grains through Saturday, March 29 at The Bread Lab at Washington State University's Northwestern Washington Research and Extension in Mount Vernon.

The award-winning baker and co-owner of San Francisco's Tartine Bakery and Bar Tartine, which he and his wife, pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt, founded in 2002, will also share some savory results from his findings at a bread-tasting/book-signing event at 7 p.m. Friday, March 28, at Village Books, 1200 11th St.

The event features Robertson's latest cookbook, "Tartine Book No. 3: Modern Ancient Classic Whole," which includes 85 recipes and more than 100 photographs illustrating his journey to incorporate the ancient flavors of heirloom grains into his baking. The book shares the author's new bread-baking methods, including techniques for whole-grain loaves, porridge breads and loaves made with sprouted grains.

His trip to The Bread Lab continues his quest to explore the rich diversity of whole grain flavors and build San Francisco's first urban mill, where he plans to work with heirloom grains.

The 500-square-foot Bread Lab houses steam-injected ovens and commercial-quality test equipment designed to measure such dough qualities as rise, strength, mixing tolerance, and protein content. It is an integral part of the WSU Mount Vernon Plant Breeding Program, which studies the diversity of grains grown in surrounding fields and provided by millers to determine which are most suitable for craft baking."

The Bread Lab resident baker Jonathan McDowell will assist Robertson in finding the optimal hydration, temperature, and time levels needed to bring out the desired characters of the grains he will be testing.

Robertson and wife Prueitt received the 2008 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. He was recently selected by as part of the Chow 13, a group of industry leaders notable for "pushing the food world in new and adventurous directions."



Take a photographic tour through historic Bellingham on Saturday, March 29.

Participants will ramble through the business district, photographing historic buildings and scenic sights along the way.

Instructor Karen Mullen shares photography tips, as well as a bit of local history. The tour concludes with an opportunity to take sunset shots. Bring your camera (anything from a Nikon to a phone.) and extra battery.

Wear walking shoes, and dress for the weather.

Meet at 4:30 p.m. in front of Whatcom Museum' Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St.

Fee is $39.

Register by calling 360-383-3200.


Hillstomp is a punk-blues duo from Portland, Ore., known for refreshing takes on traditional material, distinctive original songs, and energetic live performances.

They'll play at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at The Wild Buffalo, Bellingham, 208 W. Holly St.

Cover is $10 at the door.

In December 2005, their "The Woman that Ended the World" CD was named Album of the Year by alternative weekly, Willamette Week. On "The Woman that Ended the World," North Mississippi trance blues, a bit of Appalachia and a dash of punkabilly are duct-taped together into a rockin' do-it-yourself hill country blues stomp.

Also performing are Blake Noble and Chris Con Carne.

Visit for more.

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