Nearly two years ago I confessed my secret crush on Dean Brettschneider, an obsession that cost me quite a lot in library fines and probably made me quite boring to live with for a month or so while I read every word in Global Baker.
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As proof that dreams sometimes do come true, yesterday I got to have a date with Dean. It was just like a fairytale. There was me, him, a catering kitchen and a lot of pastry. Oh, and about 35 other people. And national treasure Ruth Pretty, who hosted the whole thing at her bucolic Te Horo estate. But those are small details.
They say you should never meet your heroes, but Dean was brilliant. Together we made foccaccia and puff pastry (it was so easy!) and an incredible mille-feuille with feathered pink icing. When we weren’t doing that we were eating things from his latest book, which is devoted to my other favourite subject, pies. The sun shone, Dean talked, Ruth made jokes, we ate vast amounts and Ruth’s amazing staff did all the tidying up. It was heavenly.
Dean has another new book, solely devoted to bread, coming out next year and he’s promised to come back to Ruth’s to teach another class. I expect a stampede for tickets along the lines of the queues at his Singapore bakery, Baker & Spice. In the meantime, I am going to perfect my puff pastry techniques so I can pass on the mille-feuille making knowledge. Stay tuned…