Steve Scott, owner-baker of Babettes: "Force your local bakeries to go above and beyond"
3350 Brighton Boulevard
This is part two of my interview with Steve Scott, owner of Babettes at the Source; part one of our conversation ran yesterday.
Are there any current trends or innovators in the bread world that you find particularly interesting?
Chad Robertson of San Francisco's Tartine, Mike Zakowski in Sonoma, and Christophe Vasseur in Paris. I'm glad to see these bakers exploring a larger diversity of grains.
Who would you most like to have walk into your store one day and buy bread from you?
Anthony Bourdain. That man appreciates the care and quality that goes into a food product, almost to the point of mania. We need more like him.
If you could go anywhere for the perfect croissant, where would it be?
Du Pain et Des Idées, Christophe Vasseur's boulangerie in Paris.
If you could have dinner, all expenses paid, at any restaurant in the world, where would you go?
Le Comptoir in Paris. It's a new breed of bistro with a lower price, but there's an incredible devotion to the quality of the food. You drool over the menus because they sound so incredible. It's classic brasserie and bistro cooking done at a much higher level then possibly anywhere else in the world.
Which of your breads do you find the most comforting? What are you pulling from the case on a snowy, cold Denver morning?
Ferme, a mix of spelt and whole-wheat flours.
Biggest bread fail:
The Crown, made with olive oil, lemon zest and rosemary that's all chopped up into a slurry and incorporated into the dough. We top it with Maldon sea salt and then cut the bread to form a crown. Although it's full of good flavor, it has become a bit too gimmicky for customers. It distracts from what we're known for: our fermentation.
Weirdest customer request:
"Do you do gluten-free bread?" That's just weird to me.
Best bread-baking tip for a home cook:
Don't be afraid of wet dough, relax and enjoy yourself.
Most memorable meal you've ever had:
Valentine's dinner at Fruition. The food, the wine, the service -- enough said.
If you could make one request of Denver diners, what would it be?
Be open-minded to well-baked breads and pastries. Taste them and force your local bakeries to go above and beyond and to exceed expectations.