Pacific Beach Baker stars in ‘Baker’s Dozen’ Hulu Competition – NBC 7 San Diego
A San Diego resident who runs a small bakery in a bistro in Pacific Beach is one of the contestants in a new show on Hulu where he hopes to do his part to instill respect and understanding of the art of baking .
“One of my goals – at least for my career – is to be able to open people’s eyes to the quality, time and effort required not only to bake a pastry or bread, but also to food in general, “Justin Gaspar, head baker at Bakehouse Tribute at PB, told NBC 7.” I think we tend to underestimate what food really is, especially when we dine out. . I would like to do my part to change that.
Gaspar is taking part in Baker’s Dozen, a baking contest that premieres on Hulu on October 7. Hosted by actress Tamara Mowry-Housley and former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses, the 8-episode series pits bakery pros against self-taught bakers in a series of culinary challenges. Each episode features 13 new contestants, and Gaspar will star in one of those episodes.
Gaspar – who received professional training and went to the International Culinary Center for Bakery and Pastry in 2014 – said it was his first time participating in a competition like this.
And, in a field focused on precision and that perfect, almost scientific combination of ingredients, it turned out to be a fun challenge for him.
â€œI always say that time and temperature are your most important ingredients in baking,â€ Gaspar said. “And in a competition like this, you don’t have time.”
Gaspar said the stress of being on watch, in a way, motivates him.
â€œI tend to work decently under pressure – but only if someone whispers my neck about it,â€ he said with a laugh.
Gaspar told NBC 7 that he filmed his episode for a few days in Los Angeles. He was excited about the opportunity as he was just starting to get his PB bakery off the ground in San Diego. It was therefore an opportunity to show off his skills, in particular his expertise in French baking.
As a baker by training, he said facing home bakers is just as difficult as facing other pros. After all, every pro had to start somewhere.
“There is no doubt about their competence (self-taught bakers) because we all come from there,” he added.
You can watch the trailer for “Baker’s Dozen” here.
Justin’s Rise in the Pastry World
Gaspar is originally from San Jose, California, but has lived in San Diego with his wife, Bianca, for four years.
In the Bay Area, he worked for Manresa Bread, where he said he got much of his baking and baking training. He has also worked in pizzerias, caterers and other bakeries over the years.
In Manresa, Gaspar said he ate fine breads and pastries.
â€œAnything that is rolled with dough and butter; it’s my passion, â€he explained.
After his wife graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University, the duo decided to move to San Diego.
And he’s glad he did, because it resulted in a great opportunity at Pacific Beach.
Recently, Gaspar was able to open a 600 square foot bakery and pastry distribution center at La Clochette Du Coin, a bistro at 4680 rue Cass.
Called Hommage Bakery, the Gaspar spot is open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. On the menu, customers will find all kinds of pasty treats, from croissants and baguettes to scones and cakes.
Gaspar said when the owners of La Clochette tasted his pastries, they were taken back to some of their favorite treats from their childhood, inspired by places like France and Madagascar.
â€œThat’s a big part of why we call ourselves Hommage,â€ he explained. â€œIt’s a tribute to the tastes, memories, flavors and foods that we grew up with, and that keep us moving forward. “
Gaspar said his best-selling PB bakery products are the almond croissant and monkey bread, but the most intriguing item is the kouign amman, a sweet and salty flaky pastry similar to a croissant but with layers of sugar in addition to butter and dough.
The kouign amman, well, that’s the main reason Gaspar learned to laminate a pastry.
Gaspar perfumes his kouign amman with various seasonal delicacies, such as blueberry and ginger compote. In a few weeks, he will try an apple butter version.
â€œEveryone comes for the almond croissant, but they go back to get the kouign amman,â€ he says with a smile.
Gaspar said in addition to selling his pastries and bread to Hommage Bakehouse and La Clochette Du Coin, he works with wholesalers in San Diego County. He has also worked with brands like Blue Bottle Coffee and Craft Meals.
He’s also keen to incorporate more cultural pastries into the Tribute menu, as he’s proudly half-Filipino and inspired by the treats he grew up eating. He hopes to give his team at the bakery a chance to explore their cultures as well, through the art, science and passion of baking.