Nationally recognized pastry chef, bread connoisseur, and head chef at Modernist Cuisine, Francisco Migoya, will answer the burning baking industry question, “What does the future of bread look like?” at the American Bakers Association (ABA) 2018 Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz. this April. He will share insights from his aptly titled, coauthored tome, Modernist Bread, and will detail how commercial bakers can rethink bread and use grains in an innovative way.

Migoya will share his path for how understanding the science behind bread launched his inspiration for “out-of-the-box” bread creation and innovation. Authorship of three award-winning pastry books—Frozen Desserts, The Modern Café and the Elements of Dessert—sprung Migoya to lead the culinary team, direct research for and coauthor (along with Nathan Myhrvold) the book at Modernist Cuisine. Modernist Bread is a comprehensive examination of bread with 1,200 recipes spread throughout its pages. Miyoga spent years researching the scientific intricacies of breadmaking, and with Myhrvold, developed innovative baking techniques. The team has designed methods for making high-hydration doughs easier to handle, producing bagels, and pressure-canning bread, and Migoya will discuss how wholesale bakers can use “Modernist” approaches and techniques to reinvigorate traditional breads and create new types of bread that will excite consumers.

“Francisco’s ‘Modernist’ approach has pushed the definition of bread to include a repertoire of processes and recipes that embody what it means to be innovative with a traditional product,” said ABA president & CEO Robb MacKie. “Consumers are demanding hyper-fresh concepts more and more often, and the industry can consider Francisco’s example and translate it into commercially viable ideas for growing the category.”           

A France-trained gastronomist with his culinary degree from Lycee d’Hotellerie et de Touirsme, Migoya relocated to New York to work as a savory chef before finding his calling as a pastry chef at The River Café in Brooklyn. He later served as pastry chef at Veritas in New York City; executive pastry chef at The French Laundry and Bouchon Bakery; and professor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He was named one of the top pastry chefs in the country by Dessert Professional (2011, 2013) and as a top chocolatier (2013) and received the Medal of Master Artisan Pastry Chef (2013) from Gremi de Patisseria de Barcelona.

“We look forward to Francisco’s fresh lens for looking at innovation in the baking industry,” said MacKie. “I am confident that the mindset he brings to the table will inspire thought and conversation around refreshing the category.” 

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