Schlotzsky’s Inc. (Nasdaq:BUNZ), will begin this month baking the unique, European-style baguettes, rounds and loaves of award-winning chef-author Nancy Silverton of California’s Campanile restaurant and famed La Brea Bakery, one of the most respected artisan bakeries in America.
To introduce Silverton and her breads to Austin, The Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival and Schlotzsky’s Inc. will co-host a “Wine and Bread Pairing” featuring Silverton from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the Schlotzsky’s® Deli at 218 S. Lamar Blvd. at Town Lake, the flagship location where 14 varieties of La Brea Bakery breads will be baked.
During the evening event, Texas wines will be paired with La Brea Bakery’s signature breads. Ranch 616 chef Kevin Williamson, president of The Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, will prepare open-faced sandwiches based on recipes in “Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book” and a sampling of panini.
“Schlotzsky’s is about bread,” says John Wooley, Schlotzsky’s Inc. president and CEO. “It is the basis of everything we do. We study bread. We celebrate bread.”
As part of its continuing quest to bring the best of European artisan crusty breads to its customers and increase its own level of skill, Schlotzsky’s sought out the award-winning chef and author.
“Nancy Silverton is perhaps the finest artisan bread baker in the country, and we are inspired by her purist roots, her commitment to artisan bread-making traditions and her unique understanding of fine European crusty breads,” Wooley says. “We believe that the availability of Nancy Silverton’s bread in Austin will change the bread on the tables of Austin’s finest restaurants.”
Schlotzsky’s first raised the bar on bread in 1994, when it brought Dan Leader of Bread Alone Bakery in Woodstock, N.Y., to Austin. Via Leader’s knowledge of old-style, hand-made European crusty loaves and Schlotzsky’s own wood-fired Spanish brick ovens, the Company raised table bread in Austin to a new level of excellence. Leader and the Company most recently collaborated on a beautiful Ciabatta roll for the new line of cold sandwiches featured in several Company-owned restaurants.
Since the 1980s, Schlotzsky’s has consulted with fine dining chefs in Austin and around the country on culinary and menu issues; currently consulting with the restaurant team are Austin chefs Emmett Fox and Lisa Fox of Asti Tratoria.
Silverton, founder of La Brea Bakery, is perhaps the most highly regarded bread baker and one of a handful of the most respected pastry chefs in America today. She has written four award-winning books on the bread and culinary arts, including “Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur.”
Silverton’s breads are earthy, rustic and delicious, with thick, crunchy crusts and soft and chewy interiors. They taste terrific, with flavor in the caramelized crusts and aromatic insides. Her sourdough breads have a remarkable texture: dense but elastic with a crisp, chewy exterior that boasts just the right tang.
Just to start, Schlotzsky’s will introduce 14 La Brea Bakery breads: French Baguette, Italian Round, Sourdough Baguette, French Loaf, Whole Grain Loaf, Roasted Garlic Loaf, Country White Oval, Pain Rustique, Rosemary Olive Oil Loaf, Organic Wheat Loaf, Olive Oval, Potato Dill Oval, Pecan Raisin Oval and Sesame Semolina Loaf.