Where To Order Bread: Sourdough Bread’s Best Kept Secret, Bernadette Olivares
Bernadette Olivares went to school in Les Roches Switzerland and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is also trained in classical French cuisine. But, interestingly, she is a self-taught baker. From the young age of eight, Bernadette knew she loved cooking and baking. She became enamoured with baking bread in particular because she loves to eat it, in all shapes and forms.
A decade or so ago, she had worked as an executive chef in several locations. She changed careers and became an educator, teaching at Our Lady of Fatima University for another 15 years. Clearly, sharing and giving back to others comes naturally to this woman.
“I got into it because I was never crazy about what’s available. Plus the challenge that it’s so complicated. When I started out there wasn’t a lot of information or people teaching how to do it,” Bernadette admits. To her, a great sourdough has a balance between crustiness and chewiness. “It should never be tight or heavy,” she says.
Another secret to great sourdough is a spacious fridge. “You can have the fanciest tools but if you don’t cold-proof your dough correctly overnight, you will end up with a lot of failures”.
As of late, in the last six months, sourdough has taken over social media. A plethora of home-bakers has been baking their hearts out trying their hand at this classic and with many others too.
When asked which five types of bread she either loves to eat or make, Bernadette answered, "A classic country loaf, anything with walnuts and dried fruit, olive fougasse, pandesal, and fluffy white sandwich bread".
At the core of it all, Bernadette bakes out of passion. Thus, you can find all her beautiful bread on her personal Instagram. You can order a variety of delicate, carb-filled treats like kougin amann, monkey bread, whole wheat flax sesame, milk bread, and even cinnamon pull-apart. She also loves to cook meat and hearty stews—which she does not sell yet!
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When asked who her culinary role models are she says: "There’s a baker in South Korea who has a shop called Mother’s Oven. I don’t even know her real name but ever since I saw her page on Instagram, [I knew] that’s how I wanted my bread to look like. Locally, I look up to Jonathan Kui. He is not only a baker and a pastry chef but also an excellent cook. He’s in a class of his own. No one else here comes close."
Breaking bread, and sharing a meal can really do wonders for the soul. The culinary industry in the Philippines, comprised of professional chefs, home-cooks, pastry chefs and mixologists, has truly become a supportive community filled with passionate talents. We at Tatler are always excited, eager and proud to share these stories.
Tell us what you think of Bernadette’s bread and where else you like to get your favourite eats!
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