Two summers ago I met Pierre Ragot at his boulangerie in Marseille. I’d heard of him through our common friend Thierry Delabre. While I tried to speak some French, he joked about my lack of linguistic skill, simultaneously sharing his plans to open more places in Marseille and inviting me to come work with him. “Avec le pain y’a pas besoin de beaucoup parler!” Well, I have not yet had that opportunity but he did agree to come talk with us at Stir the Pots.
How did you become a baker?
When I was fourteen, coming back from an evening with friends, we stopped to eat pastries in the bakery in my neighborhood in Courbevoie, I felt enchanted by the place, the smells, the gestures. .. since then the passion was born.
What prompted you to leave Paris for Marseille?
It was the meeting with Lisa (wife) that prompted me to come down to live in Marseille, a choice that I do not regret because here I feel good.
How has the pandemic changed your profession?
It didn’t change my profession at all, we had more work that’s all.
Who is Thierry Delabre to you?
My master, My friend, My brother.
What was the Bro method?
Bro was the genesis of a project that Thierry had, The Training Project.
What has changed in your business?
Fermentations, (Ancient) grains
With Thierry, we took two years to set up an ideal fermentation and sourdough to achieve the bread of our dreams.
How did the idea of milling at the bakery come about?
The project was born from the desire to always improve our work, and the fact of working in extra fresh grinding will allow us to further raise the quality level of our products, because in extra fresh grinding you have all the quintessence of the flour. (minerals, vitamins …
In addition, by working with this mill we will work directly with the farmer, which is magic.
Is the tradition of bread changing in France?
Yes, the bread tradition takes a different turn and it is much better thanks to Thomas and Thierry. Organic, sourdough, local.
Firm sourdough or liquid, do you use both or which do you prefer?
I use hard sourdough. I prefer the hard sourdough for the crust it gives, and its extra softness.
Which cereal do you like the most?
My favorite wheat is the bearded of Roussillon from Henri de Pazzis and the population of fleur de Berry wheat.
What makes good bread?
Who makes good bread? Thierry delabre.
Are baking methods changing and depending on who or what?
Yes the baking methods are very important, as important as the kneading methods
Why do you think people were more interested in baking during lockdown?
People were interested in baking during lockdown because they were pissed off at home!
Are you planning to write a book on bread?
Yes I plan to write a book on bread very soon..
Who inspires you?
The only two people who inspire me are Poilâne and Delabre.
How does one obtain the CAP if you live abroad or if you do not speak French fluently?
Getting the course in France without speaking French, it will have to happen at Thomas Teffri-Chambelland… EIDB
What bread do you eat the most?
The bread I eat the most is the le barbu de Rouissilon.