Le Pain Quotidien and the Art of Sourdough
Dubai, November 01, 2021: Did you know that today’s artisan bakers who hand roll and shape sourdough loaves, rolls, baguettes, and flutes are heirs to a 5000-year-old tradition of mixing flour and water, and then using the fermented mixture to leaven bread? Or there are ten steps to achieve a perfect sourdough bread.
Alain Coumont, chef, restaurateur and founder of Belgian bakery and restaurant Le Pain Quotidien (LPQ), shared these and many other insights and anecdotes on baking, food and community at an exclusive breakfast event this morning at LPQ, Marina Mall.
The story behind Le Pain Quotidien and Alain Coumont’s passion for food began long before Alain’s first bakery. As a child in Belgium, he spent countless hours perched on a chair, watching his aunt make bread. As a young chef in Brussels, Alain searched for bread that lived up to his childhood ideal. Coming up empty-handed, Alain realized that the only way to satisfy his yearning for the rustic bread of his youth was to recreate it from memory. Passionate about quality, he decided to return to his roots and open a bakery where he could knead flour, salt and water into the rustic loaves of his childhood.
The first Le Pain Quotidien (French for “The Daily Bread”) opened on Rue Antoine Dansaert in Brussels, in those days an avant-garde quarter of Belgian fashion. At a local flea market, he found a long table where his guests could sit to eat together; it became Le Pain Quotidien’s first communal table. Alain believes that community is what nurtures, inspires and feeds the soul, and that there is a place for everyone at the table.
Today, Le Pain Quotidien has a global community of over 200 stores throughout the world. The ‘communal table’ made of reclaimed wood continues to be the centrepiece of the bakery-restaurants, where guests are invited to linger, savouring good food and good company. The bread is still the best in town, freshly baked in house with organic flour.
Alain shared his stories and anecdotes, the inspiration behind LPQ, the brand’s journey of more than 30 years, his approach to organic cooking, favourite recipes and more.
LPQ’s menus celebrate seasonal ingredients and artisanal techniques; with a variety of wholesome dishes bursting with goodness and flavour. Choose from the ‘Turkish Eggs’ for a nourishing, delicious start to the day, the power-packed ‘Manhattan Breakfast’ for brunch, or the ‘Baked Codfish’, for an elegant yet satisfying lunch or supper. Enjoy breakfast with organic breads, pastries, eggs, coffees and teas or dine on the signature tartines (open-faced sandwiches), soups, salads and quiches. Also offered are organic, 100% Arabica coffee and a range of organic teas, including black, green and herbal teas to take that LPQ taste home. Enjoy them in the warm and welcoming restaurants, featuring reclaimed wood and the day’s specials written on charming chalkboards.
LPQ remains committed to a healthy lifestyle, offering as many organic products as possible: from organic flour for its legendary breads to pantry shelves stocked with organic jams, chocolate spreads and cold pressed olive oils.
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