Wheat Stalk 2018 Brings Bakers, Educators + Entrepreneurs to JWU

Story by JWU Media Relations , on Feb 12, 2018 2:45 PM

culinary student baking bread


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – February 12, 2018 - The center of the bread universe rises over Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts (JWU) in Providence, R.I. when 150 artisan educators, bakers, chefs, and food professionals convene for WheatStalk 2018 beginning Tues., Feb. 27 through Thurs., March 1, 2018. Organized by the Bread Bakers Guild of America (BBGA), this invitation-only event brings the top bread professionals together for a comprehensive immersion into the art, science, craft, and technology of bread. Participants will learn and improve techniques, share ideas, and build community through hands-on classes, lectures, and demonstrations.

JWU International Baking & Pastry Arts Department Chair Richard Miscovich, a past BBGA board member, believes that "bread is a social leveler," and was instrumental in bringing the event to Providence for the first time. The event occurs every few years and has been held throughout the U.S.

Nearly 700 people applied for Wheat Stalk 2018's lottery-style invitation, open primarily to BBGA members. Dozens of JWU students are skipping their "spring break" and staying on campus to volunteer, participate, and network with the "Olympians" of the bread world.

Presenters and attendees include James Beard Award winners, internationally-decorated chefs and bakers, old school and new school trailblazers, bakers, millers and growers:

  • Joanne Chang, chef and co-owner of Flour Bakery + Café, Boston; 2016 James Beard winner "Outstanding Baker;" author of Flour, Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery+Cafe, and Myers+Chang at Home: Recipes from the Beloved Boston Eatery.
  • Hubert Chiron, fourth-generation baker from southern Bretagne, France. A master baker and head of the experimental bakery at INRA (National Institute for Agronomic Research).
  • Members of the award-winning, internationally renowned faculty of the JWU International Baking & Pastry Institute (IBPI) – Lauren Haas, Mitch Stamm, Richard Miscovich, Harry Peemoeller.

Class & Lecture Highlights

  • Doughnuts, crullers, and churros, Rachel Crampsey, Montclair Bread, Montclair, N.J., 2014 winner, Cooking Channel's Donut Showdown competition. (Tues., Feb. 27)
  • Starting & growing your own bakery, Amy Scherber, Amy's Bread, New York City and Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Boston. (Wed., Feb. 28)
  • Beyond whole wheat bread, Jim Williams, Seven Stars Bakery, Providence, R.I. (Thur., March 1)

Bread: A Hallmark of JWU
In addition to the upcoming Wheat Stalk 2018, JWU held the first "International Bread Symposium" at its Charlotte campus in April 2017 where bakers, historians, scholars and millers gathered to explore the future of bread. It was led by JWU Chef Peter Reinhart, an author and bread aficionado. The second symposium will take place again in Charlotte, April 26-28, 2018, with Nathan Myhrvold, author of Modernist Bread, scheduled as keynote speaker.

Ten years after establishing its Culinary Arts program in 1973, JWU added an associate's degree in Baking & Pastry Arts to its curriculum. In 1997, the university became the first in the U.S. to offer a bachelor of science degree in Baking & Pastry Arts. In 2010, it expanded its offerings to include a bachelor of science degree in Baking and Pastry Arts & Foodservice Management. Today, there are nearly 1,400 undergraduates enrolled nationwide in the university's baking & pastry programs.

About the Bread Bakers Guild of America
The Bread Bakers Guild of America, founded in 1993, is a non-profit alliance of professional bakers, farmers, millers, suppliers, educators, students, home bakers, technical experts, and bakery owners and managers. It describes its members as a "funky, iconoclastic, independent, creative and colorful group who value and promote baking education and thrive on the lively exchange of ideas." The Guild is today a community of 2,200 global members and counts among its membership both a veritable “Who’s Who” of celebrated artisan bakers, as well as the next generation of bakers.

About Johnson & Wales University
Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 8,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its campuses in Providence, Rhode Island and Charlotte, North Carolina. An innovative educational leader, the university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts and sciences, business, engineering, food innovation, hospitality, nutrition, health and wellness. It also offers undergraduate programs in culinary arts, dietetics and design. JWU’s unique model provide students with the personalized attention, academic expertise and industry connections that inspire professional success and personal growth. The time students spend at JWU is nothing short of transformative, as demonstrated by career outcomes, expected earnings and economic mobility rankings. The university’s impact is global, with alumni in 125 countries pursuing careers worldwide.

Media Contact: Miriam Weinstein, JWU director, communications & media relations, 401-598-1157, miriam.weinstein@jwu.edu.

Media Note: The event is closed to the public; media is welcomed to attend and schedule visits to campus for any of the classes, demos and lectures, and request interviews with participants. For a complete schedule, list of topics and presenters, the 2018 Wheat Stalk at a Glance is available through above contact.