The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Celebrity Sighting: Stan Ginsburg At Rustic Bakery, Novato, CA

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GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Celebrity Sighting: Stan Ginsburg At Rustic Bakery, Novato, CA

I had the pleasure today to meet Stan Ginsburg at a wonderful artisan bakery in Novato (Marin County), California.  Rustic Bakery (http://www.rusticbakery.com/) is owned by the cousins of TFL's very own Joy Danzig (joyfulbaker).  Joy and her husband and her cousin, Josh (the bakery owner), were hosting Stan's visit to the North Bay, where it sounds like he had a very successful book signing and sampling yesterday.  We had a nice brunch with great coffee and baked goods.  I enjoyed meeting Joy and hearing of the passion for baking that runs in her family.

It was great to meet The New York Baker in person and share bread and pastry stories.  I'm glad Stan made it to Central Milling earlier this morning, where he had procured "a few hundred pounds" of organic flour.  Now he is on his long drive back to Sandy Eggo.

Best of all, though, was discovering Rustic Bakery.  Located in downtown Novato (with another location in Larkspur), it is small but expanding later this year.  The cinnamon rolls, made from incredibly great laminated dough, were as good as any I've had--made, Josh tells me, with local Marin County butter from the famed Straus Family Creamery (http://www.strausfamilycreamery.com/).  I'll try their butter next time I make croissants or Danish.  And Rustic's boldly baked whole wheat bread with pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds made a great turkey sandwich.  Josh gave me a tour of the bakery (complete with cookie tasting).  Though it's small, they put out a lot of delectable stuff.

Thanks for the hospitality, Josh.  And thanks, Joy, for including me in Stan's visit.

Glenn

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hanseata

I only saw a Phish at the Bluebird Tavern in Burlington/VT this evening, but that was all - I didn't even get any Phish Food.

Karin

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joyfulbaker

Glenn, it was a pleasure meeting you this afternoon.  I know it meant a lot to Stan to spend time with you.  His event at Santa Rosa's Congregation Shomrei Torah, the primary reason for his trip, was successful beyond all expectations.  Not only did he practically sell out of his stack of books, but there were 51 people attending who clearly demonstrated a strong community interest in traditional baking, both the recipes and the history and emotional associations connected with that, which seems true in any culinary culture.   And, the huge assortment of ITJB delectables that a group of us bakers prepared for the crowd were gone, gone, gone (well, a few crumbs were left)!  There were Russian coffee cake, mohn bars, Hungarian cake roll with mohn filling, almond horns, wonder cake, babka, onion rolls, eier kichel, onion kichel, and more than I can remember.  We labeled each item, which I am convinced awakened appetites not only for the goodies but for the book itself. 

Stan's KSRO interview with Steve Garner of The Good Food Hour will be broadcast this Saturday, 2/25, at 1350 AM on your dial, from 11 to noon.  I've heard from folks who know about these things that an interview with that radio station is highly coveted in Sonoma County.

It's great that you were able to rendezvous at Rustic Bakery in Novato.  Josh Harris and wife Carol LeValley and their staff are gracious and genial hosts, as I'm sure you saw, and I know Josh was delighted to give you a tour "behind the counter."  Now that they have Stan's and Norm's book, I am hoping they will incorporate at least that delicious deli rye into Rustic's lineup of fabulous breads.  The original bakery/cafe, as you indicated, is in Larkspur, on Magnolia, the Novato bakery/cafe was the second, and they've just opened a third one at the Marin County Mart in Larkspur Landing.  They are developing a new website which should give further details (it is www.rusticbakery.com.)  They keep their standards high, use organic ingredients, and they are committed to that for the long term. 

We're hoping for a return trip by Stan.  I heard that he had an uneventful trip home and got back to "Sandy Eggo" in good time.  Thanks for your post, Glenn, and, again, it was great meeting you.

Joy

Elagins's picture
Elagins

and our "coffee and ..." at Rustic was the cherry on top. Josh and I had a long talk about their baking, and they do it the right way. Their baguette was a huge hit at home ... no surprise considering that Carol (a) uses Central Milling flours, (b) spikes her wild yeast starter with a little commercial yeast to tone down the sourness, and (c) retards her dough overnight.  I also had the mascarpone/meyer lemon tart on an astonishingly light puff paste open pocket, and their cheddar scone, which was equally amazing.

Glenn, it was such a treat to finally meet you face to face after all of our online contact and banter. Thanks to TFL, which first of all, made the book (warts and all) possible, I've made some fantastic friends: I feel as though we've known each other for a long time, and staying with Joy and Jerry felt like a family reunion. Saturday afternoon, btw, Joy brought me over to her baking group, where I demonstrated Russian coffee cake and assisted with the Wonder Cake, both of which promptly disappeared on Sunday.

I had the opportunity to also visit Della Fattoria in Petaluma, which a lot of knowledgeable folks rank on a par with, and even superior to Tartine. The breads are unbelieveable - high hydration wild yeast breads baked in a WFO using retained heat only. I brought back an epi and a loaf of their Campagne (French style wheat/rye), which are just sublime. Also got a chance to stop by Central Milling and pick up a couple hundred pounds of Type 85 and Artisan Plus flour, both which will probably show up on nybakers.com in the not too distant future.

In all, it was a fantastic trip, even though I don't consider myself to be a "celebrity." There wasn't a single papparazzo in sight!

Thanks to everyone for a fantastic weekend.

Stan

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sweetbird

What a wonderful recounting of a special gathering of people with a passion for bread and other fine things -- thank you for sharing it!

Janie

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EvaB

but unless he is contemplating a trip up the Alaska Highway (we live at Mile Zero in Dawson Creek, BC Canada) it will have to be a virtual meeting, and reading about lovely meetings with people I know (through TFL) and hearing about the success of his books at bringing about such lovely meetings and reminicences is the best I can do!

Stan Rocks! TFL Rocks! and so do all the members !

Elagins's picture
Elagins

hi all,

I just posted the interview I did with Steve Garner on "The Good Food Hour" on KSRO (Santa Rosa, CA) that was broadcast last Saturday, 2/25.  Steve's a great interviewer and it was a lot of fun ... if you have a chance, give a listen -- all kinds of back story and other info ... and you get to hear my actual voice! http://www.insidethejewishbakery.com/media.php

Stan

PS ... and please remember to vote for ITJB in the About.com Reader's Choice 2012 balloting for best Jewish cookbook http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/b/2012/02/22/vote-for-your-favorite-jewish-cookbook.htm

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joyfulbaker

Stan, I listened and thought it was superb!  There was more to learn even after attending your Sunday afternoon event.  Steve Garner is about the most well-prepared interviewer I've ever heard.  Clearly he read your and Norm's book carefully and with great appreciation.  I recommend this interview to anyone with interest in the ITJB project.

Yes, I've voted and passed along the info to baking friends.  Good luck!

Joy

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Elagins

thanks, Joy ... it was another bright spot in a totally wonderful experience. Again, thank you for arranging it all.

Stan

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joyfulbaker

You're welcome, Stan.   It was a great pleasure and a bright spot in the community.  I have heard only comments of appreciation and enjoyment from everyone here. 

Joy