Bien Cuit introduces a new approach to a proudly old-fashioned way of baking bread. In the oven of his Brooklyn bakery, Chef Zachary Golper creates loaves that are served in New York’s top restaurants and sought by bread enthusiasts around the country. His secret: long, low-temperature fermentation, which allows the dough to develop deep, complex flavors. A thick mahogany-colored crust is his trademark—what the French call bien cuit, or “well baked.”
This signature style is the product of Golper’s years as a journeyman baker, from his introduction to baking on an Oregon farm—where they made bread by candlelight at 1 a.m.—through top kitchens in America and Europe and, finally, into his own bakery in the heart of our country’s modern artisanal food scene.
In the thirteen years prior to opening Bien Cuit, Chef Zachary Golper trained in bread and pastry across the United States and France. Beginning in rural Oregon, he first learned the art of bread making from a baker using a hand-built single deck, wood-fired oven. The workday began at 1AM, under candlelight, over a tub of warm saltwater and sourdough starter. Together mentor and apprentice added flour little by little and rhythmically mixed the dough with their arms. During this apprenticeship Golper learned to work according to the most basic and ancient techniques of bread making.
From there he went on to learn under renowned World Champion Bakers and Pastry Chefs in Portland, Seattle and Las Vegas. He further honed his skills during a stage in the Loire Valley of France with a third generation pâtissier. Next, Chef Golper reinvented the bread program for George Perrier's landmark restaurant, Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia, before opening Bien Cuit in Brooklyn, NY.
Since Chef Golper opened Bien Cuit in 2011, it has quickly become both a neighborhood staple and notable destination for those seeking the finest breads and pastries New York City has to offer. Bien Cuit has been recognized as one of the best bakeries in the nation by The New York Times, New York Magazine, Food & Wine, bon appétite, SAVEUR, Haper's BAZAAR, The Village Voice, and USA TODAY. Chef Golper was chosen by Dessert Professional as one of the Top Ten Bakers in the United Stated in the fall of 2012. In 2013 he was a Rising Star Artisan with Star Chefs. In the spring of 2014 The New York Times headlined its bread story with Chef Golper's take on fermentation and the state of artisan baking. In 2015 he was nominated for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker and in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 he was named a finalist for the award. Chef Golper and his team continue to work daily in Brooklyn, merging traditional French techniques with innovative flavors and the highest quality ingredients from regional farmers and millers.
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A signed copy of Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread can be purchased as part of our Sourdough Starter Kit here.