San Francisco baker to savor, share Northwest grain flavors

By Cathy McKenzie, WSU Mount Vernon

Tartine-cover-120MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Chad Robertson, award-winning baker and co-owner of San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery and Bar Tartine, will explore new flavors as he tests Northwest-grown whole grains March 27-29 in the bread lab at Washington State University’s Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center.

Fresh from publishing the third volume of his cookbook series, Robertson will share savory results at a free, public bread tasting/book signing at 7 p.m. March 28 at Village Books, 1200 11th St., Bellingham, Wash.

“Tartine Book No. 3: Modern Ancient Classic Whole” includes 85 recipes and more than 100 photographs illustrating his journey to incorporate the ancient flavors of heirloom grains into his baking.

Award-winning baker/cookbook author Chad Robertson will test the flavors of Northwest grains at the bread lab. (Photo by Kim Binczewski, WSU Mount Vernon)

Robertson’s bread lab visit continues his quest to explore the rich diversity of whole grain flavors and build San Francisco’s first urban mill, where he plans to work with heirloom grains.

“The Bread Lab offers a unique opportunity for bakers from around the world to experiment with our local wheat varieties, which provide a range of natural flavors that are not commonly found in our more traditional baked goods,” said Steve Jones, center director and wheat breeder. “In our collaborations with amazing bakers like Chad, we are discovering ways to pull the flavors out of grains and wheat blends, particularly in 100 percent whole grain uses.”

Robertson and his wife, pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt, received the 2008 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. He was recently selected by as part of the Chow 13, a group of industry leaders notable for “pushing the food world in new and adventurous directions.”



Steve Jones, WSU Mount Vernon NWREC director/wheat breeder,,  360-416-5210

Jonathan Bethony McDowell, WSU bread lab resident baker,, 360-848-6144