Chef of the Month : Michael James From Tivoli Road Bakery


Michael James grew up in Penzance, West Cornwall. He moved to London at the age of 18 and worked at the five-star Selsdon Park Hotel before joining Tom Aikens at the two-Michelin star restaurant Pied-à-Terre. It was here he met his Australian wife Pippa. After moving to Sydney in 2004, he had the opportunity to work and learn with Dave McGuinness and Paul Allam at Bourke Street Bakery. This job was the start of his baking career, and he has never looked back.

As a chef who was captivated by the craft of baking, Michael’s first aim is to inspire readers to make nourishing real bread at home and to give them the confidence to adapt it to suit their own tastes.

And from there, it’s a whole new world: olive loaf; fruit sourdough; spelt and honey loaf; wholegrain rye and buttermilk loaf; sprouted buckwheat loaf. A new bread, if they dare, for every day.

As well, across 80-plus recipes, Michael shares the secrets of some of Tivoli Road’s best-loved creations in his new book, The Tivoli Road Baker. The treats that Melburnians cross town for: pork and fennel sausage rolls, doughnuts, palmiers, tarts, scones, galettes, exquisite canelés, salads and a remarkably memorable repertoire of sandwiches. It’s all rounded out with seasonal favourites, including hot cross buns and Christmas cake, plus distinctive native Australian flavours such as lemon myrtle and wattle seed.

Along the way, Michael and Pippa introduce readers to the beloved growers and suppliers that they credit as being so important to the success of their little Melbourne bakery. They explore the native ingredients that are becoming more accessible and widely used, as well as ways to incorporate them into modern baking.

With a fundamental belief that the food we eat shapes our interactions with the world and each other, Michael & Pippa hope that the The Tivoli Road Baker will help readers create great food at home to share with the people they love.

Extract from The Tivoli Road Baker, by Michael & Pippa James.

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