This week's Special Sauce guest, bread baker extraordinaire Jim Lahey, is a man of strong opinions, provocative ideas, and many talents. He's not on the fence about anything. So I figured that if we just gave Jim a mike and let him rip, serious eaters would be in for a treat. It turned out I was right.
You'll hear about how Jim came to bread baking after suffering through 37 bad jobs; how he started his baking business by setting up a folding table in New York's Greenwich Village after baking all night in his barely habitable apartment; and how he happened upon his revolutionary no-knead bread recipe by accident. He explains how the time he spent in a small town outside Rome provided both the inspiration and the knowledge he needed to develop his craft. Though he prides himself on being something of an outsider and a rebel, Jim's great skill has earned him quite a bit of media attention—and the very first James Beard Award for the nation's top baker. This year, he was inducted into the JBF's Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America. So take a listen to this no-holds-barred episode of Special Sauce—at the very least, you shouldn't miss the great baker's Bernie Sanders impression.
You Could Be on Special Sauce
Want to chat with me and Kenji? We're planning an upcoming call-in show, and we're accepting questions now. Do you have a long-standing argument with your brother about the best burger-forming methods? Have you been refining your grilled cheese technique for the past five years, but can't quite make it work? We want to get to know you and solve all your food-related problems. Send us the whole story at [email protected].
[Bread photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]