The perfect bagel is engineered in California
by Laura Domela
July 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM
When Dan Graf got interested in the finer points of bagel making, he was told to pay tribute to his culinary elders, as done by his bosses and his bosses’ bosses before them.
Graf’s boss’s boss, cooking icon Alice Waters, put in time in the global cuisine capital of Paris before creating Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Graf’s boss and Waters’s former cook Peter Levitt, in turn, made a pilgrimage to the iconic delis of New York before taking over Saul’s, a delicatessen a few doors down from Chez Panisse. After working as a cook and deli manager at Saul’s, Graf was likewise encouraged by Levitt to “stage” with a longtime New York bagel producer and learn the old methods of poached bread.
Graf had other ideas. Rather than bowing to tradition, the 27-year-old former genetics major dove into online forums, scoured research, and embraced analytical lab techniques, emerging from his basement-apartment kitchen with a bagel that combines a uniquely crisp and blistered crust with a rich and chewy interior redolent of the best bagels in and around Graf’s native New Jersey. Less than a month from launch, Graf’s one-man company Baron Baking is selling to three different San Francisco Bay Area restaurants, building buzz in the local press, and pleasing a fan base of local gourmands and restaurant owners. Lower East Side bagel elders be damned.
Analog/Mixed Signal. Board and Module Design. Career. Communications and Networking. Computers. Consumer Electronics. EDA. MEMS and Smart Systems. Embedded. FPGA. Green. Industrial. Manufacturing. Medical. MilAero. Mobile. Power. Products. Robotics. Semiconductor. Software. Test.