Purple House is one of the latest projects of James Beard-nominated chef Krista Kern Desjarlais. It is a much hyped bakery located in a small town in Maine called North Yarmouth, thirty minutes north of Portland.
“There's an Agway, a diner, a farm store, a gas station, a real estate office, and an insurance office,” says Chef Desjarlais about this unassuming town in which her bakery resides. The reason the opening of it has been so highly discussed is that it is powered by fire. Wood-fired cooking has become a popular technique for many chefs, and that is at the heart of what makes Purple House so unique.
The oven dictates the menu there. In the morning when it is hot, Montreal-style bagels and house-smoked fish will be served. When the oven cools, then more baked goods will be prepared.
Oven-baked Roman pizzas will be offered for lunch, and diners can also choose from vegetable dishes and hearth breads like boule and baguettes.
Desjarlais will host once a month (at least for now) 10-12 seat dinners inspired by themes dictated by season, ingredients, or service style. Reserved tickets will pay for an inclusive, 7 to 10 course meal.The locals are certainly happy about it. Desjarlais says that they are excited that she won’t “turn it into a gas station or Starbucks.” They will also be looking forward to the many great tastes that will come from the bakery, such as the Montreal bagels (a denser, chewiery version of New York City bagels, boiled in honey water and baked under wood heat), her famed brown butter almond cake and pannacotta, and a two-pronged caffeine approach: quickly-made Cuban coffee and a pourover bar featuring a yet-to-be-determined craft roaster.