Grand Central Bakery bakers Mel Darbyshire, Laura Ohm, Kelly DeLucco and Gina Langley discuss how to support your local grain economy through delicious, cost-effective products. They will explore different flour flavor profiles, pairings, and wheat varietals, and feature different flours in pie dough. Participants will hand-mix 2-3 batches of pie dough that they can keep and take home. Participants will also become a production team, making multiple individual fruit handpies for Friday’s dinner.
Mel Darbyshire, Head Baker, Grand Central Bakery
A native of England by way of Iowa, Mel Darbyshire started her baking career in Portland with Grand Central Bakery and quickly moved through the ranks to become head baker for its Multnomah location in 1997. After a stint in Seattle at Macrina Bakery as head baker, she returned to Grand Central Portland where she spent 10 years developing delicious breads, building hearth ovens and masterminding the highly technical switch from mass-market flour to locally produced Shepherd’s Grain and Camas Country Mill flours. Today Mel is at the helm at Grand Central’s Seattle and Portland production facilities and serves on the Bread Lab Advisory Board. She spends time researching formulas that use local grains in order to advance the understanding and support of the regional grain economy. In her free time you will find Mel cruising Alki on her long board, walking her Dachshunds and dreaming of delicious food to pair with Northwest beers.
Laura Ohm, Product Director, Grand Central Bakery
Laura Ohm joined Grand Central Bakery in 1998. A graduate of Beloit College in Wisconsin, her early cooking and baking career took her from Vermont to North Carolina to California, and finally Portland, OR. After studying viennoiserie at The National Baking Center, Laura helped launch the Grand Central Commissary, which produces buttery croissants, flaky pie dough, and soups rich with local, seasonal produce. As Product Director, Laura is responsible for making sure all Grand Central bread, pastry and cuisine supports our mission of serving our customers delicious, authentic food made from high-quality local and sustainable ingredients, while growing a healthy, values-driven business. When she’s not in the kitchen at work or home, you’ll probably find her climbing a steep pitch on her bike, watching a Packers game or running Portland’s trails with her two Australian shepherds.
Kelly DeLucco, Portland Production Manager, Grand Central Bakery
My baking career began in 2008 where I studied Pastry and Specialty Baking at South Seattle Community College in Seattle, Washington. I got my start in pastry, working for Macrina Bakery in Seattle. When I moved to Portland in 2010 I had my first chance to work exclusively with bread and my love for bread exploded. Over the next 4 years as life would have it, I moved back and forth between the two cities a few times, finally settling in Portland while growing my career and passion along the way. I’ve had the opportunity to work for some amazing high volume bread production facilities including Tom Douglas Restaurants in Seattle, New Seasons Market and Grand Central Bakery. I find working with the changing variables and chemistry behind producing a loaf of bread to be a welcoming challenge; specifically working with whole grains and sourdoughs. Although my heart lies with bread, I miss all things pastry and am continually seeking opportunities to keep a hand in it. I love to make and decorate cakes, especially wedding cakes for friends and relatives!
Gina Langley, Grand Central’s pastry manager, fell in love with baking while falling in love with her partner Dean. The couple moved to the Pacific Northwest in the 2003 and it was during that time Gina decided to turn her passion into a career. Once settled in Portland she began to research local bakeries and was drawn into the flavors, dedication to sustainability, warmth and family of Grand Central Bakery. Gina quickly moved through the ranks to become pastry manager whose main focus is to develop skilled and passionate bakers with a mission to create the highest quality and most delicious products within the parameters of Grand Central’s mission. Gina is an avid baker, cook, canner, jammer and pickler who loves to scour the neighborhoods and farmers markets for seasonal produce to feed friends. She also enjoys riding motorcycles and restoring 70’s custom boogie vans with her van club.