Artisan Bread Bakers to Convene in Asheville

The 13th Asheville Artisan Bread Bakers’ Festival celebrating local farmers, millers and bakers – the first of its kind in the Southeast — will feature the talents of four highly-respected bakers: Jim Lahey, Peter Reinhart, Lionel Vatinet and Tara Jensen. The May 6-7 event in Asheville, North Carolina, is an opportunity for bread enthusiasts and professional bakers to break bread together, to improve their baking skills, share ideas, and network within the artisan bread community.

On Saturday, May 6, more than 15 local artisan bakeries will be sampling and selling their breads at the Magnolia Building on Asheville’s A-B Tech campus. Hands-on workshops and lectures by the featured guest artisan bakers will take place at the same location. In addition, there will be an on-site visit to the Carolina Ground Mill.

Saturday evening, the public part of the festival will conclude with a catered dinner with the bakers. The dinner brings together farmers, millers, bakers, and bread enthusiasts for an evening of bread talk and networking.

On May 7, a six-hour “Master Class” for professional bakers will offer intensive instruction and discussion with Lahey and Vatinet. Professional bakers can inquire about tickets by emailing wakerobinfarmbreads@main.nc.us.

The Asheville Artisan Bread Bakers’ Festival has drawn over 1,500 attendees each year. According to Peter Reinhart, “Asheville and its surrounding area, with a very small population, supports more artisan bakeries than most states so this really is an ideal setting for this festival. The bakeries are small but truly artisan in the purest sense of the word.”

Steve Bardwell, one of the festival organizers, adds, “Year after year, this festival showcases many of best bread bakers and most innovative ideas in bread today.”

The festival is sponsored by local bakeries, the Bread Bakers Guild of America, Asheville-Buncomb Technical Community College, Lindley Mills (an organic flour mill in Graham, NC), King Arthur Flour, Carolina Ground Flour Mill, Ingles Markets, To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company, Rhubarb / Rhu Bakery, and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.