It all started as a humble 17 year old just out of school.

Aussie Artisan

East Sydney Bread Making Technical and further Education  to

Product Development Baker Montana Bakery.    1992 -2010
 

I am writing this today to hopefully inspire the new bread maker apprentice into 'Sticking With' the industry of Bread Making.
 

The Bread Making industry worldwide has faced many difficult hurdles to devalue the Baker, Bread and Bread Constituents because of only one thing. Competition.

I really do believe that Capitalism has managed to destroy our craft which we belong to. The only thing capitalism hasn't been able to do is take the Baker out of the Baker. I mean its a craft that has survived from the beginning of time, Bakers have always been employed and employable because Bread is a Staple Food.

Over the past 20 years I have worked and studied in may European Countries. Through this I speak Italian and German

I started off working in a French Bakery in Balmain, NSW in 1994 and worked in a numerous amount of places around Sydney. Still trying to capture my maturity I was full of energy and determination to conquer any objective put in front of me. My teacher and my best friend today is a Portuguese Man. Together we were unbeatable and although we are apart we are doing very well in our own Bakery Interests. His is Management mine is New Product Development.
 

Here is a list of Bakeries I have been involved with over the past 20 years.

 

Australian Bakeries

Jansen Pies Ltd - Belmore NSW
Belmore Lebanese Bakery - Belmore
Woolworths Ltd
Il Gian Fornaio - Chatswood
Fuel Garage - Surrey Hills
Brasserie Bread - Kings Cross
Victoire - Balmain
Baker's Delight

Italian Bakeries

Il Forniao - Lago do Como, Milano, Torino, Mennagio, Tuscany, Verona - Italy
 

German Bakeries

Small Artisan Bakery - Koblenz Germany (300 years old)
 

Scottish Bakeries

Mhor Bread - Callender
Steven Ferrier and Sons- Paisely
Tapa Bakery - Denistoun Scotland
Peckhams- Deli Glasgow

 

current position- Montana Bakery London - ( National Product Development Test Baker )
 

It is tiring to remember all of the bakeries however I am fortunate enough to have a collective memory and a point of recall which only gets better with time.
 

Every single bakery I have been involved with I have learnt. Bakers are a strange bunch, a mixture of capabilities and personal natures. I just wish that one day we will be able to find our maturity and not condemn others. We all have to work and we should be able to enjoy working.

I am not fashionable, trendy or modern however I am Old Fashioned, earnest and love what I do. Most importantly I am very good at what I do or I wouldn't be where I am know. 
 
At Montana Bakery I am working on some very interesting projects and hopefully resulting in spectacular breads from all around the world. Now Thats not bad for a Baker who was kicked, punched and spat on
 

Australia has a wonderful bread culture developing, we must work to preserve our craft.
Believe me if we don't we will loose it and could go along the lines of Britain where it is ok to put a par bake bread into an oven for 7 mins and say I am a baker.
 
Sad Really- But its a Fact.
If anyone wants to talk bread making with me I am only to obliged to give you my time.

Thank you

Alec.
 

Craft Baker since 1994 - Master Baker Italy since 1998

 




 

 

 

 

 

Replies

Admin's picture
Admin 2010 April 22

Alec it is great to here your outlook on the Australian baking scene. I gather you had an introduction to baking that many Australian bakers-in-training got, inc. myself, which usually involved exposure to some very frustrated, sometimes twisted or worse, hard working dough punchers (who oddly enough we learnt to respect).

To hear your positive story and wishes for the future is such a relief. Pressure from the big industrials to de-skill small bakers is weakening as bakers are empowered to want to learn to bake...really bake. We call this 'artisan' today, but actually it is just wanting and being able to make bread that you are genuinely proud of serving to your customers.

De-skilling belongs in the factory where it began, not out on the street. There are some hybrid processes out there that add a level of 'convenience' to artisan baking. Personally if the bread is good and the baker is not exploited, then i can see room for these, even if it is someting i don't use myself. I agree that 'bakers' re-heating par baked bread crosses the line! Baking is largely a fermentation art, managing microbes from start to finish (par-baked microbes aren't too lively).

I know a lot of the bakeries that you worked at, remembering Il Gian Fornaio when it surprised us all in Chatswood back in my school days. Please stay in touch with this forum and provide some reports from your part of the world if possible.

Graham

 

alec nayler 2017 June 15
Have my hands in sticky rye flour. Do I or Don't I .currently holding discussions with family bakery in Koblenz Germany regarding the first non German baker take over bid. €10,000 closed for 2 years prior being open every day since 1776. I think I need a good German lawyer for traditional bakery constitution
lynne 2010 October 15

Hi Alec,

I want to learn how to bake like a professional, at the moment I am only able to bake bread, mostly sourdough, at home in a conventional oven.  I need to get to grips with baking on a large scale, with proper equipment, and importantly find out if my small frame can physically cope with the demands of a commercial bakery!  I live in Manchester, I am willing to travel, but I cant relocate at the moment.  Do you have any advice on how I might gain the experience I need? Are there any bakeries in the UK that you would particularly recommend I approach?

Aussie Artisan 2011 July 12

It has been a while since I have visited this website. I was wondering if you are still looking for a opportunity in the bakery. I am currently working in London.

 

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