Couple years ago, I got a behind the scenes tour of Roberta’s (one of my favorite restaurants to dine at) and I got to see their new homemade bread oven that was built inside a freight container. I knew then that I wanted to go back and see the oven in action. So finally after 2 years I got the chance.
I didn’t get to meet Melissa Weller (head bread maker/genius at Roberta’s) till in April of this year at the New Amsterdam Market but I have met her bread last year when I got a taste from Anarchy in a Jar (Laena uses Melissa’s bread for people to try her jam on) and after buying a loaf at The Brooklyn Kitchen.
Melissa told me that during her first winter season, when we had the big snowstorm in Jan/Feb 2011, she had to shovel the snow to create a path for herself from the kitchen to the oven. Wheel the dough out from the kitchen to the oven, get the dough into the oven, run back to the kitchen to work on other things, go back to the oven to check on the bread..etc..etc.
While most people are still in bed at 5am, Melissa and Brendan had already been in the kitchen for couple hours making dough and getting that day’s order out. There’s something wonderful about working so early in the morning. There’s a sense of calm in the air (plus the scent of fresh baked goods) which makes productive level very high.
Thanks again to Melissa Weller for letting me take photos in the kitchen at Roberta’s and check out the slideshow for more photos.