Page 38 - Pastry & Baking Magazine

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Pastry & Baking
North America
Chef in Focus
By David Martell
E
veryone is familiar with the phrase “jack
of all trades, master of none”. This term
seems to suggest that having a wide range
of knowledge means we are unable to be experts
in any one topic or craft. For the most part, I agree
with this idiom.
However, there are those rare few who possess
skills, an eye for detail, dexterity, and the creative
wherewithal that are unmatched by their peers.
They simple excel at everything; absorbing the
subject matter like a sponge and understanding the
nuisances and subtleties at a very different level.
William Leaman is one of those guys.
He’s a master baker, award winning pastry chef,
spot-on cook, successful businessman, and, all around
nice guy to boot! I immediately disliked him.
Located in West Seattle, William and his wife
Heather make history daily with one-of-a-kind
creations for their legions of fans that, all too often,
overrun their award winning shop Bakery Nouveau.
With over 20 years of culinary experience in
pastry, bread and chocolate, and as the captain of
the 2005 Bread Bakers Guild Team USA who won
the Coupe du Monde de Boulangerie, William has
worked extremely hard to make Bakery Nouveau
a Seattle icon.
Growing up in Arkansas, at what age did you
develop your interest in cooking? Was it part of
your upbringing? Family business?
I got my first taste of a kind of production work
picking eggs with my grandmother – it was a large
chicken house actually, so there was about 4 hours
a day picking. She was a great cook too, so I picked
up some interest in cooking from her (my parents
didn’t cook much, although my mom made some
Master of all
William Leaman is a world champion baker and award winning pastry chef
and the owner/operator of one the countries’ most beloved bakeries.”
Baguette Rolling