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56 Pastry & Baking
North America
Baker in Focus
V
isit Christie’s Mayfair Bakery in Saskatoon, Canada
and experience the shock of stumbling upon world-
class artisanal breads from around the world smack-
dab in the middle of the Canadian prairie. French baguettes,
country boules, fat bâtard, flat ciabatta, pizza-like focaccia, and
potato-based pugliese!?. How? What? Where?
Questions abound but everything starts to make sense once
we sit down with co-owner and head baker Tracey Muzzolini.
Born into the baking business, Tracey grew up surrounded
by bread. Her parents, Ennio and Janet Muzzolini, bought
Christie’s in 1965 and the bakery was a focal part of her life
growing up. So much so that as a young woman, Tracey left
Canada for Australia to start a new life. But, after years abroad
and missing Canada, Tracey returned to North America and
landed at a popular restaurant in Toronto where she was put
to work making bread. After studying at the National Baking
Center in Minneapolis, she returned to Saskatoon to perfect
her European techniques and assume the baking lead in the
family business.
Pastry &BakingNorthAmerica:When did you start working
in the bakery?
Tracey:
I started working regularly at the bakery during high
school. I washed dishes and cleaned the bakery after school.
My whole family worked on Saturdays – me, my older brother
and my mom and dad. When my younger brother was born,
I could get out of working sometimes by babysitting him at
home.
Why did you leave Canada and the family business?
I wasn’t really keen on working at the bakery. I didn’t see the
romance in it, only the reality which was hard work and tired
parents. After college, I went to Australia which was as far away
from the bakery as I could get. Ironically, one of my jobs in
Melbourne was selling bread at a local bakery. It was easy to
fall into that job because it was what I knew.
Tracey Muzzolini from
Christie’s Mayfair Bakery
By Mitch Stamm