If you consider yourself a connoisseur of breads and baked goods - or just enjoy a damn fine doughnut - but haven’t visited Tivoli Road Bakery yet, put it on your shopping list, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
This month’s Mount Zero Hero, Baker Michael James’ commitment to perfecting dough has built him a loyal local following over the years, from his days at Baker D Chirico and MoVida Bakery which he and wife Pippa subsequently bought and reopened as Tivoli Road.
Originally from Cornwall (Penzance!) England, Michael’s love of cooking developed watching his father at work and lead him to hone his passion in the kitchens of London.
It was in London, working at the two Michelin starred restaurant Pied-a-Terre, he met Pippa, who captured his heart and brought him to our fair shores.
That was a decade ago, and Michael recalls his first impressions of the Australian restaurant industry as being more relaxed, but using consistently quality produce and an abundance of ‘exotic’ foods – ‘things like avocados and mangos’!
He was also instantly attracted to native flavours and to this day continues to experiment with locally grown produce, including the Mount Zero Olives range which features in many of his menu items.
His passion for supporting producers and artisan crafts was evident in his choice of vacation earlier in the year, when he took the family to The Grain Gathering in the US, followed by a ‘bakery pilgrimage’ in San Francisco. The Grain Gathering attracts grain growers, bakers and brewers from across the US and the world to meet and discuss sustainable grain growing methods, and breeding for flavour and nutrition.
Soon after this trip Michael attended a second baking conference called BreadEd in Auckland, an industry run bakers meet.
The BreadEd conference will be held again in late August next year in NSW, and Michael is working with other organisers on a program aimed at attracting farmers, brewers and bakers.
Michael would love to see a diverse group of industry players and artisans congregate and learn from one another’s experiences of the ecosystems of the grain production process. So save the date grain lovers!
And in the meantime, check out the wonderful recipes that James and Pippa have provided us this month and which will be featured on the website and on our social media.
Thanks for your time and insights Michael, it’s been great to learning more about you and the team behind the delights to behold at Tivoli Rd.
Readers – here are a few more interesting tidbits about Michael, make sure you say hi when you visit. Enjoy!
1. Your favourite Melbourne festival or outing and why?
Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, for the great gathering of international and local bakers and chefs. We’re so lucky in Melbourne to have exposure to so much talent on our doorstep.
2. Your favourite foodie film?
3. The most heard feedback from your regular customers?
We love your hot cross buns! (Editors’ note – these were awarded last year and clearly the customers agree!)
4. Your favourite kitchen tool?
My dough cutter!
5. If you weren’t baking what would you like to be doing?
Lying on the beach in Cornwall, eating a pasty. Or playing professional football. (That would be soccer readers).
7. Is there anything you miss about the food scene in London?
The mushroom season.
8. The Mount Zero Olive team have embarked on creating a foodies’ bucket list…. go!
· Heston Blumenthal’s BFG
· Bread from Tartine Bakery (San Francisco)
You can taste these amazing treats for yourself at....
3 Tivoli Road, South Yarra VIC 3141
Tel 03 9041 4345
Monday – Sunday 7:30am – 4pm
Tivoli Road Bakery vanilla cream doughnuts - Link
Tivoli Road's spring freekeh salad - Link
Mount Zero olive oil & rosemary truffles - Link
Olive Sourdough - Link