MANILA, Philippines – Baking is having a rebirth. And The Bistro Group makes sure we’ll get a whiff of how freshly baked artisan breads, pastries and sourdough pizza smell like with the opening yesterday of Baker & Cook and Plank at the ground floor, S Maison, The Conrad Hotel, Mall of Asia. These two concepts, which were founded by Kiwi celebrity baker-entrepreneur, TV host, and book author Dean Brettschneider, have a cult following in Singapore.
The “global baker” is excited to introduce to Filipinos what he calls “new world baking,” a personal baking style which provides global influences while adapting local tastes in its product range.
“It is about bringing the best of artisan baking without being French, Danish, German or English. We’re not bound by cultural issues,” explained Dean, who is now in Manila to personally welcome Filipino diners to Baker & Cook and Plank.
At Baker & Cook, one can have New Zealand lamingtons, German volkorn bread, Italian bomboloni doughnuts, really moist chocolate and carrot cakes, fantastic croissants, even Eggs Benedict (which is done slightly different with Dean’s sourdough bread) — all crafted by hand using time-honored processes and made with real, honest-to-goodness ingredients.
“We’re not a factory so we do everything by hand and that just doesn’t mean breads, cakes or pastries. That also includes coffee,” added Dean.
Alongside its world-class signature bakery range, you can also choose from the beautiful selection of the bakery’s own-brand range of jams, homemade granolas and delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings.
Throughout the day when you want a sip of their roasted coffee and bites of delicious pastry for breakfast, a delightful salmon quiche and hot pie over lunch, a croissant and salad in the afternoon, Baker & Cook is just the perfect place to visit any time of the day.
Plank, which is located alongside Baker & Cook, specializes in sourdough pizzas baked in a Valoriani igloo combination oven that can run on gas and woodfire —perfectly melding the consistent heat of the gas and the hint of smokiness with a little wood. It’s the same oven that Jamie Oliver uses.
Its menu is simple — seven hand-crafted woodfire pizzas, salads, starters, a dessert, and some Filipino favorites. “There’s a Baker and Cook next door so we don’t need a lot of dishes,” Dean said.
Plank’s sourdough culture is over 25 years old and has traveled around the world with Dean. They are particularly proud of the super pillowy soft crust with a touch of crispiness. Come here for excellent pizzas with toppings like barbecued chicken with strawberries, smoked salmon and shitake mushrooms. “There are so many breads and pastries to get excited about. A French baker would just bake French pastries, breads, and some average-tasting cakes. We don’t need to do it just one way. Here, I just do what my customers want,” Dean explained.
JUST DOUGH IT!
Since 2012, Dean has opened seven Baker & Cook stores, two Plank Soughdough Pizza outlets and a culinary school in mostly residential neighborhoods in Singapore.
A savvy entrepreneur, he purposely seeks out emerging Asian countries to grow his brand and develop the market.
“Now, is the perfect time to conquer Manila. Not only because Filipinos deserve artisan goodies, but also because we found a perfect partner in The Bistro Group,” noted Dean who admitted he’s very careful in choosing his business partners.
Baker & Cook and Plank are The Bistro Group’s first bakery and cafe concept stores and the first outside of Singapore. “We’re proud to bring in these brands with a high potential for growth especially because Dean himself is a renowned baker with extensive experiences in the industry,” enthused Amy Palisoc, VP for Business Development.
The stores’ interiors are contemporary and are splashed with bright colors. Here, you can come down in your casual wear with your kids and enjoy the baked goodies. The menus are simple and dining is nice and easy.
“We give guests the pizza and a cutter so they cut their own pizza. We don’t deliver because if we put it in a box and drive it for forty-five minutes, it’s not the same quality of pizza that you deserve,” advised Dean.
Dough shalt not leave the bakery and café without a slice of their best-selling breads, delicious and moist carrot cake and the sourdough pizza.
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Baker & Cook is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., while Plank Sourdough Pizza is open from 11:00am to 10:pm.
Follow Baker & Cook and Plank on FB and IG: BakerandcookPH)