We are sorry to announce that we will be losing a key member of the Loaf team this Spring. We are preparing to bid farewell to Dom Clarke who has been full time baker at Loaf since we moved to our Stirchley premises in August 2012. Dom adapted to bread baking incredibly quickly (he was a head chef before), and has driven the bakery forward hugely in the last 18 months. He has also brought his cooking prowess to the table and enabled Loaf to do many more things than we otherwise would have been able to do. Before I let you know what he’s up to next (because it’s a bit exciting!), I want to share a few of the highlights of Dom’s time at Loaf:
- Introducing the Maslin Sourdough – probably our best loaf (that’s why we only bake it once a week, lol).
- Kicking off our popular pop-up takeaway nights with the burger night, where we served around 100 portions in a couple of hours (and made enough money for Dom to get his pay packet that month!)
- Starting CANeat, a hugely popular occasional dining experience in the cookery school dining room. In July 2013 this received a 5 star review in the Birmingham Mail and was featured nationwide in the Metro.
- Creating and delivering a brilliant range of ‘Kitchen Essentials’ courses, from Knife Skills and Stocks and Sauces, to Dom’s particular area of expertise – Cooking Meat.
- ‘Ryegate’ – that time Dom used all of the rye sourdough starter up and forget to save any – fortunately he found a recent sourdough course student who still had some alive in her fridge and pedalled round to ask for some back!
- Every baker has forgotten to put salt in a dough before, but who can forget ‘Saltgate’ – the day Dom forgot to put salt in not one, not two, but three of our five daily dough’s. Forgiven but not forgotten!
After Dom leaves in April he’ll continue to teach Kitchen Essentials courses for us in the short term, but we will be bidding farewell to CANeat, as frankly no one else here can cook quite like Dom can! To celebrate CANeat we’ll be saying goodbye to it with a pop-up takeaway night on the 28th February. Keep peeled to the blog / facebook / twitter for details on that soon.
So, what next for Dom?
It’s my pleasure to announce that Dom will be launching an incredibly exciting food project in Birmingham with his CANeat collaborator and our expert fish tutor Lap-fai Lee.
Clarke & Lee will be launching onto the Birmingham Food Scene on the 9th March in what promises to be a very special dinner, hosted by our friends over at The Church in the Jewellery Quarter. Continuing what they started with CANeat, Clarke & Lee will be ‘Creative Eclectic Dining’. The 9th March dinner is from 7pm at the Church Inn and costs just £25 per person. Tickets available soon from The Church website. You’ll be in for an evening of superbly crafted food, sharing plates of smoked meats, pickles and modern creative cuisine. Here’s a sneak preview of the menu:
Crisp breads, Guanciale, Nuts and Seeds
Sprouted Wheat Rye, Smoked Butter
Aubergines, Crispy Shallots
Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Almonds, Kimchi Mayo
Beef Rib, Japanese BBQ sauce
Clementine Cake, Crème Fraiche, Pomelo
Green Tea and Yuzu Teacake
Take a look at the CANeat blog for pictures of the previous editions.
Farewell Dom, good luck!