Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happiness is a job you love...

Hi there - I again humbly apologize for the dearth of posts on this blog; being at a job I dreaded took a lot of energy away from me, and what energy I did have on a daily basis was split between searching for another job, and taking care of our son, that, though fun, can be exhausting...

So, in October, I stopped working at the job I dreaded, for a lot of reasons (commute, a**hole insurance agents), and started to take a long look at what would be next for me...

The turning point? Coming to visit family and friends in the Bay Area in November. One visit in particular, to Goody Goodie Cream & Sugar, where I reconnected with my last pastry chef, Remi Hayashi-Girouard, and it was just like I was working at the dearly departed Splendido Restaurant over a decade ago. The banter, the gossip, but, most of all, the incredible bread and pastry being turned out from the kitchen, ignited my long dormant passion for being in the kitchen once again.

Upon my return to West Hartford, I turned my focus from desk jobs within the insurance and benefits industry, and redirected it to baking and pastry. In late December, I took a position with a chain, whose name translated from French means "The Good Bread"; I couldn't even complete a month with "The Good Bread" - something about retrieving pre-made, frozen, preservative-laced, high fructose corn syrup laden goods, then proofing, baking, said goods, did not sit well with me, and, goes against every fiber of my culinary training...

However, while I was there, I was contacted by the owner of the Hartford Baking Company, a small little bakery/coffee house less than 10 minutes from our home. Zach and I went there in December, and seeing bannetons, bakery racks, and, some awfully good looking bread convinced me to ask Scott, the owner, if they had all their bakers for the holidays; it wasn't until January when I came in for an interview and tryout, and soon thereafter, I was in the kitchen, mixing, shaping, proofing, slashing, and baking some of the best bread in the country!

You'll notice that I'm entering this post at 5:00 in the morning; bakers' hours, people, bakers' hours. I am on such a high right now, finally doing what I love to do, with a boss as passionate about baking and bread as I am, and with co-workers equally passionate, I can't help but feel very very lucky.

It took some time, but I think this East Coast thing just might work out...

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