translated and adapted by Jonell Galloway
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Franck Debieu, a guiding light in the French bread revolution?
French bread baking is quietly but surely undergoing a revolution. It is adapting to today’s changing world. And like the European Renaissance, it is, surprisingly, rediscovering its origins, its long history of tradition, and reinventing them in light of scientific discoveries and expertise, which have allowed bakers to know more about the wheat, leavening, salt and water they use to produce their works of art. They are trying to revitalize their production and sales teams. L’Etoile du Berger bakery in Sceaux, just south of Paris, is unquestionably the greatest innovator in this revitalization.
Franck Debieu, the mastermind behind l’Etoile du Berger, looks as if he just stepped out of a Fragonard painting. The mildest of manner, matched with the strictest of standards. “Matchmaking” is his obsession. This business-minded bread baker is brimming with resourcefulness. His intelligence covers all territories: from the most basic raw materials to sensitivity to the human element. This discerning approach to bread baking certainly has its place in a French society totally caught up in a phase of decomposition and recomposition. Intuitiveness, audacity, business sense: all necessary to confront the task at hand.