Today I rushed from work for an interview with one of New York's baking icons, Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery. I wait and wait; his assistant apologizes and tells me he is tied up in another interview. So I sit down and the first thing that hits me are the bread smells, the sign of the Italian sounding names of pizza di fungi, filone, Puligese, all familiar from the former entity in Soho now relocated to it's current incarnation on a non-descript street in Hell's Kitchen though with no less a crowd who enjoy the goods! There’s a lady who is shipping some dark Filone in a postal box, a girl buys three Italianized chocolate brownies, the guy across from me wolfs down my own favorite the patate pizza, an onion smothered, Yukon gold potato layered and speckled with rosemary on a thin crisp dough, Italian knish?
So I start to investigate the premises it's a carbon copy of the former bakery downtown, like it had fallen from the sky onto the very spot! My attention is drawn by an article on the factional toll on Iraqi bakers, something I have read a lot about, seems they, (the bakers) get all the shit sandwiches and have to take a bite! ("Full metal jacket," Joker man!)
Restless and thinking of my starters at home, I try to prepare my tools and questions, take a deep breath, clear throat, sit up straight…Controversy starts now!
No knead to ask why, Jim Lahey reads the riot act, dismisses fallacies,lays waist to my conventional baking theories learned at school, steps on some toes, ok now I am worried!
Listen and see what you think? I am trying the loaf his way, see if I can get it right this time? I am a lazy baker!
* So as not to defame anyone that may have been mentioned during this interview I seriously edited some controversial statements, though freedom of speech is a priority and right on my list of important isms! I still felt it was necessary to remove some of Jim's statements. To be fair to Jim I turned on the microphone even before we really got into the true heart of conversation, no knead bread and told him there would be some editing! As I was nervous and felt I needed to contact someone mentioned, I contacted Dan Lepard, e=mailing is one of the worst way's to talk to someone,apologize's are sent to both parties through me, sorry!
Also I wish to post and e-mail which Dan Lepard, who I contacted to forewarn, asked me to post and I will out of fairness, and also hope that Jim and He will speak about the good things,like bread!
From: Jim Lahey [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 07 November 2006 03:54
Subject: Dear Dan
Could you please get your info on Sullivan street/ exeter street correct Exeter street is not an offshoot simply another imitator.
Just read your book thought it was quite good. Thanks best, Jim Lahey