The artisans of bread, guitars and walnuts take center stage this week...
We begin this week's Buzz with something different. The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) holds the largest music trade show in the US every January at the Anaheim Convention Center. This year, however, it's being held this week in April, opening yesterday and running through Saturday. The NAMM Show is only open to people in the music industry (and their guests). Regardless of that restriction, in the past, it hasn't been uncommon for attendance to exceed 100,000!
As exciting and glamorous as it might sound, the NAMM Show is a lot of work for exhibitors and attendees, many of whom fly in from around the world to be there. It's also very noisy with a cacophony of all manner of instruments colliding with live demonstrations coming through sound systems run by over-zealous sound techs! But there's also the surprise music artist or two that happen to visit a booth and play a featured instrument; word gets out fast and soon there's a big crowd craning to get a closer look and listen!
As an attendee, my drive from Burbank was a mere hour from Burbank but by the time I arrived at 11 a.m., the only parking lot available was about 1/2 mile from the Convention Center with no shuttle in sight. So I got some good exercise on the way to and coming back from the show site.
There were a few vendors I wanted to see so I made sure I found them early in the day. While visiting the Zynaptiq booth (a German company whose products I use when producing music), Dweezil Zappa (son of Frank Zappa and a fine guitarist in his own right) happened to show up and exchange a few words with Denis, the CEO of Zynaptiq. Dweezil owns a studio in LA so we are contemporaries in that respect. After Dweezil said his goodbyes, I returned to the demo Denis was giving showcasing a new software vocoder (if you're familiar with Electric Light Orchestra's "Mr. Blue Sky," you've heard a vocoder creating that unusual vocal instrument sound). Just another day at NAMM...
Now we get to the part of the NAMM story that ties in with what we do here at Random Acts of Breadness: creating art. The highlight of this year's show for me was the Boutique Guitar Showcase curated by Jamie Gale. This section of the show floor was laid out like a gallery of fine art pieces, except that these pieces were guitars and basses and their luthiers (makers of stringed instruments), and anyone who wanted, could ask to play these works of art for themselves. There were also signboards like the one above with appropriately inspiring quotes.
Each guitar is designed and hand-crafted to be one of a kind, just like Breadness; the only difference being that ours is art you can eat!
Which brings us to the final artisan of this issue: Corky's Walnuts!
If you read the winter edition of Edible - San Fernando Valley we handed out the past few months, there is an article about Corky's Nuts in Fillmore, California. One of the points in the article was how most walnuts purchased at a supermarket (or even on line) are too old by the time they're available for sale on the shelf. Whereas, Corky's nuts are as fresh as you can get. When I went to order some of their products a couple weeks ago, they were all sold out! But I got an e-mail from Nicole advising me that more stock was coming in that weekend. I was finally able to order one of the two varieties of walnuts they sell (Chandler). (The other variety is Hartley and I'm just going to have to be patient until that harvest comes in.)
As for Corky's Walnuts? They are the freshest walnuts I've ever had!
So with these fresh Corky's Chandler Walnuts to hand, I had my breadmaking team use them for this week's Cinnamon Raisin Maple Walnut sourdough loaves. Next week, we'll alternate back to the organic pecans and go back and forth each week, pending availability of Corky's walnuts.
Speaking of our team, major props go to Rhys and Alex for baking 72 loaves and making the dough for 48 more on Thursday while I was at NAMM. Needless to say, you ROCK!
Cooler weather and a bit of rain have extended our soup and sourdough season for at least another few days so order on line or come by and pick up your Breadness this weekend. As always, we'll have samples of our Artisan Country Loaf and the Cinnamon Raisin Maple Walnut sourdough.
And we're expecting deliveries from Laura Ann's Jams, Raw Farm Butters, and Ojai Olive Oil Company's Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars. We just received a new shipment of Ritrovo Selections Organic Turmeric Balsamic and Organic Apple Balsamic Vinegars. Not only is the taste of these balsamics exquisite, the bottles are works of art as well...
Random Acts of Breadness is located at 2214 West Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank (2-1/2 blocks east of Buena Vista on the south side of the street). Come to the bakery and sample our artisan wares, or order on line for bakery pickup, or have Breadness delivered or shipped to your door. You may also order by phone at 818-562-7303 and pay when you come pick it up. We're open Friday & Saturday 12 to 6 p.m. and Easter Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.(-ish)
Note: If you (or someone you wish to gift) live within 120 miles of Los Angeles, we can ship on Thursday (via UPS Ground) and in most cases your Breadness Box will arrive on Friday (Saturday at the latest). Place your order before Thursday at noon here.
Enjoy a "slice of life" at Random Acts of Breadness!
From our hands to yours...
Randall Michael Tobin
Artisan Baker/Chef, PC, ACF
2214 West Magnolia Blvd., Unit A, Burbank, CA, 91506, United States of America
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