Davy Bui’s passion for rustic sourdough fermented for years before he began selling his artisanal loaves at the Oak Park Farmers Market this past spring.
“I got inspired by reading a Michael Pollan book called “Cooked” a couple years ago,” said Bui, 40, who also works as a stay-at-home dad. “It talks about the traditional cooking methods that humans have used, and one of them is baking. … I read that chapter, and I got inspired to try and make my own sourdough.”
Recently, the cottage baker launched sales out of his home at 2667 21st St. in Curtis Park from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays. The house has a natural storefront space, he said, and demand was strong at the farmers’ market. He calls his business The Drunken Loaf, a nod to the fermenting process he uses to make his white, wheat and gruyere-sesame sourdough breads. Loaves sell for $6.
Bui said he was fascinated by how Pollan described bread and baking as the technology that allows humans to consume cereal grasses such as wheat. The book also taught him a great deal about the beneficial bacteria that occur in sourdough because wild yeast is used to leaven the bread.
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For his first attempts at making sourdough, Bui referenced the short guide in “Cooked,” which had been adapted from some 40 pages of instruction in San Francisco baker Chad Robertson’s book, “Tartine Bread.” Initially, Bui said, he found the idea of following Robertson’s recipe too daunting, but as he tried Pollan’s abbreviated version, he foundered in ambiguities and grew hungry for Robertson’s detailed guidance. He also went on a bread trek to Chico to seek advice from well-known baker David Miller of Miller’s Bake House.
“I’ve done a lot of research into baking, especially the American bakers,” Bui said. “It seems like it’s a very common thing for bakers to hear a siren call them to baking long before they get started. For instance, Chad Robertson ... talked about how he thought about becoming a baker long before he ever baked.”
As his son Emerson approached school age, Bui began contemplating what he wanted to do with the time he would gain. He told his wife, Airgas finance executive Jana Bittinger, that he was thinking about selling his bread at a farmers’ market. She told him that it was just the thing she could see him doing. ...
Local startups seeking students: Sacramento’s medical-technology industry is teaming up with Sacramento State to encourage the university’s students to seek internships at local biotech startups. “The idea is to promote business here in the Sacramento region and to keep students here,” said Matthew Phillips, director of MedStart collaborative. “There’s a big outflux of students once they graduate.”
Phillips said companies will be looking for interns in many disciplines, not just the sciences. Students will participate in startup culture, in which founders and employees often forgo pay for a stake in the company, betting they will see a big payoff with an acquisition or an initial public offering of stock. To learn more, go to the services tab at www.medstart.org or stop by the Sac State career center. ...
A move up the kitchen ladder: Michael Grande returns to the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, where he served as chef de cuisine in 2013-14, as the executive chef. “I am excited to be back in Sacramento, where there is an abundance of locally sourced products available,” Grande said. “I look forward to reconnecting with the many brewers, vintners and farmers in the area.” He takes the reins at a property with 28,000 square feet of banquet and event space as well as restaurants such as Vine’s Cafe, Amourath 1819 Lounge and Dawson’s Steakhouse. He takes the reins from Jason Poole, who led the hotel’s culinary team for about four years and has taken a position at another Hyatt property. ...
Yes, it’s fake grass: Turfscape, a synthetic grass company, is looking for seasoned entrepreneurs with a business and marketing backgrounds to expand its young franchise into the Sacramento region. Founded in 2014, Turfscape pitches its synthetic fiber to cities, homeowners and business people as a way to have the beauty of a well-watered lawn without becoming a water hog. Actor and real estate investor Tom Gallop – best known as Tom Cronin in the Jason Bourne movies – is so concerned about water conservation that he’s leading the charge to recruit franchisees. “At one of our installations, we were told that a landscaper actually mowed a portion of someone’s artificial turf because it looked so real,” Gallop said.
Editor’s note: This story was changed Aug. 30 to correct the day of the week that Davy Bui sells bread from his home.