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THE

Defender Picks

 

Vendredi

December 19th

WWOZ 34 Birthday Party

Tipitina’s, 9p.m.

Davell Crawford, Ivan Neville, DJ Soul Sister

 

Kermit Ruffins Big 50th Bash

House of Blues, 9p.m.

Celebrate Kermit’s birthday w/ The Barbeque Swingers, Nayo Jones and Neisha Ruffins Band

 

Bounce Holiday Edition

Republic, 10p.mm.

Big Freedia, DJ Jubilee, Walt Wiggady and more! $5

 

Grenadine McGunkle’s Double-Wide Christmas

Mid-City Theater, 8p.m.

A holiday play complete with speed dating and snuggies

 

Kool and the Gang, Cheap Trick

Champions Square, 7p.m.

Music with legends to kick off 2014 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

 

Shotgun Cinema Turns One

Freeport Auditorium at the CAC, 7p.m.

Screenings of Night Moves & Monsieur Hulot's Holiday; $7 each

 

Samedi

December 20th

Little Maker presents Last Waltz

One Eyed Jacks, 9p.m.

A tribute to The Last Waltz - Part II

 

Pelicans vs. Trail Blazers

Smoothie King Center, 6p.m.

The world of Portlandia blazes down South

 

Nutcracker Ballet

Tulane’s Dixon Hall, 2p.m.

Its not Christmas without the Nutcracker

 

Irvin Mayfield’s Birthday Celebration

Royal Sonesta, 8p.m.

Trumpet Mafia, Jonathan Batiste & Special Guests

 

Pine Leaf Boys

d.b.a., 11p.m.

Local grammy nominees take the stage

 

Dimanche

December 21st

Caroling in the Square

Jackson Square, 6:30p.m.

Join in the tradition of communal holiday song by candlelight in front of the Cathedral

 

Saints vs. Falcons

da Dome, 12p.m.

Who dat rivals migrate to the Crescent City for some action

 

Nutcracker Ballet

Tulane’s Dixon Hall, 2p.m.

Its not Christmas without the Nutcracker (final show)

 

Creole Christmas

Preservation Hall, 2:30p.m.

Holday jams with Lars Edegran and Big Al Carson

 

Lundi

December 22nd

NOCCA Presents Home for the Holidays

House of Blues, 6p.m.

A concert for Daniel Price foundation ft. Trombone Shorty, Rebirth Brass Band, TYSSON

Mardi

December 23rd

Lightwire Theater

The Joy Theater, 3p.m. & 7:30p.m.

A glow in the dark dancing light show

 

The Baguette Stands Alone

Breads on Oak Resurrects Old New Orleans Baking Traditions



Upriver on Oak Street, a healthy few blocks past the heavy menus of Jacques-Imo’s, Tru Burger and Squeal BBQ, a new and very legitimate bakery opened today. 

 

NoDef talked to the owners of Breads on Oak (8640 Oak Street) and tried their damn-good goodies at their soft opening today.

 

After six months of renovation at the former home of Accardo’s Appliance Parts on the corner of Oak and Monroe Streets, Sean and Chamain O’Mahony are serving artisanal baguettes, Gruyere cheese bread, olive Provence bread with fresh-picked herbs, vegan pastries and, as expected from a man named O’Mahony, Irish soda breads.

 

The front of the bakery has a subtle, but tasteful French décor. A lot of the materials used to renovate the space were recycled, as part of Chamain’s green-conscious philosophy. The space itself feels healthy, spacious and clean. The bakery equipment occupies most of the space. There are no walls to separate customers from watching their goods being made.

 

Sean O’Mahony has been baking off and on for 20 years. He first learned how to bake in a French bakery in Utah many years ago. He picked up the basic skills, then trained under World Champion Baker Pierre Zimmermann, who, judging by O’Mahony’s baguette, taught him well.

 

Asked what critical moment convinced Sean and his wife to open the bakery, Sean said, “I missed the breads. I missed baking, and European bread.”

 

The couple goes to Europe once or twice a year, and believe New Orleanians shouldn’t have to hop the Atlantic for truly artisanal baked goods.

 

Sean discovered his mission as a baker in New Orleans when reading a Bakers Review from 1910, which discussed a bakery on Bourbon Street known as “The Old Slave Bakery.”

 

In the article, Sean learned that New Orleans had the most bakers per capita in America. These bakers practiced the Old World French techniques and 12-hour long fermentation process. Through Breads on Oak, Sean O’Mahony plans to carry on the tradition.

 

“New Orleans was the place to go for the best bread in America. I want to bring that back,” Sean said smiling from behind the counter.

 

Nowadays, bread in this town is relied upon as the important bookend of a drenched po-boy, but rarely does it stand alone. Breads on Oak hopes to offer a baked good that doesn't need a deep fried pairing.

 

Sean said the centerpiece of his breads is the crust and, specifically, “the large crumb.”

 

“I didn’t know if people would like that here, because of po-boys, but that’s the big gamble.” After trying a few of his breads, we at NoDef would like to place a bet in Sean’s favor.

 

You can imagine a little Parisian boy carrying Sean’s baguettes down the rue. They are dusted in flour with deep brown bottoms, crispy crusts, and soft and connective middles.

 

“You shouldn’t have to go to Europe to get this,” Sean said.

 

Sean said he can pump out 180 baguettes every 20 minutes with his new setup. Baguettes are the hardest to make, Sean said, besides the delicious multigrain. The multigrain breads take a labor-intensive three days to make. The result is a fresh, healthy bread that makes you want to cut it in half and rest your cheek on it.

 

Chamain, who is a vegan, bakes all the vegan pastries and muffins. NoDef assumed that because she is a vegan, she must not be from here. She kindly replied that there are, in fact, a rare “few of us at Veggie Fest” every year. Her vegan lemon-blueberry muffin convinced us carnivores at NoDef that vegans can bake. It is a perfect balance between lemon, handpicked blueberries, and healthy delight.

 

On being one of the very few bakeries with this many fresh vegan options in New Orleans, Sean said, “It’s my wife, I don’t have a choice.” He also said that most European breads, when made properly, are naturally vegan. The O’Mahonys' bakery also serves non-vegan breads and pastries, like croissants and brioches.

 

Today was only a soft opening. The bakery will be open on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer, until the hard opening in the Fall. Eventually, the O’Mahonys plan to serve healthy sandwiches and more pastries with fresh berries from their fruit orchard on the West Bank.

 

Breads on Oak is located on 8640 Oak Street, and is open Fridays and Saturdays in the summer. 504.669.5173.

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Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Staff Writers

Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson

Art Listings

Cheryl Castjohn

Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Film Critic

Jason Raymond

Puzzler

Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.

Editor Emeritus



Stephen Babcock