Breaking Bread: Aidan Monks

If you weren’t working in this industry, what would you be doing? 

I’d be a chef originally, I trained in the culinary arts as a commis chef, before then training in hospitality management at Blackpool College, where I was lucky enough to gain a scholarship to study at the Boston College of Culinary Arts, Massachusetts. That changed my entire outlook, I rediscovered my love of bread, something I’d inherited from my grandfather who was a baker in the Lake District. I later went on to study alongside the craft bakers at Les Grands Moulins de Paris, France, and ever since I’ve been on a very clearly defined bakery path, constantly striving to develop and enhance my baking skills and knowledge. 

What about working in this industry excites you? 

You never stop learning, it’s an art form that’s been around for thousands of years but it’s constantly evolving. In some ways it’s like a starter, it needs constant feeding and nurturing because it keeps developing and changing over time. 

Which five people would be your dream dinner table, alive or dead? 

That’s an interesting one. I’d probably go with farmer and heritage grain specialist Andrew Wilkinson, professor of genetic epidemiology Tim Spector, chef and baker Richard Bertinet, open fire cooking specialist Francis Mallmann and to round things off Parisienne restaurateur Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau the inventor of the modern restaurant.  

White or brown bread? 

Brown every single time. 

What’s the most exciting place you’ve visited? 

Oman, simply breath taking! 

What do you do in your free time? 

Little bit of a busman’s holiday really, I’m usually found in the kitchen cooking or experimenting with ingredients. Otherwise I might be gardening or out walking the dog...

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Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Bakery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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