One of Brisbane’s best French restaurants is about to become one of Brisbane’s best artisanal bakeries. But for just five Saturdays in April.
Montrachet co-owner and head chef Shannon Kellam has wanted to open an artisanal bakery ever since returning from France to take over the Paddington brasserie from Thierry Galichet in February of last year.
“I started off my career 23 years ago doing pastries before switching to savoury cooking,” Kellam says. “While in France, I was spending a lot of time in bakeries, learning techniques and styles. I’m really excited to bring it back here.”
Kellam reckons that while bakeries are improving in Brisbane there’s still plenty of space for dedicated artisanal operations. “It’s rare to find an artisan baking and making everything from scratch, doing their own fermentation and doughs,” he says. “There’s a greater interest in it now, but maybe not so much up here in Brisbane.”
Montrachet is a small-scale operation, and Kellam says that what’s on offer won’t necessarily be cheap. But he’s hoping customers will feel it’s worth it. “Hopefully people will taste it and go, ‘Wow, that’s really special’,” he says.
Beginning this weekend, Kellam will throw open Montrachet’s doors 7-11am on Saturdays, peddling an abridged range of European-style breads and pastries, including Montrachet’s own house-baked baguette; a loaf prepared using grains and ryes sourced from Newstead Brewing Company; brioche buns with cranberry and orange; a fruit loaf; and an assortment of Danishes and croissants. “And we’re also doing a beautiful quiche Lorraine,” Kellam says. “I love to make it with my kids.”
But what’s a fun diversion for locals will also be a test run for Kellam: in September he’s hoping to open a standalone bakery in Paddington with French chef Valentine Mille. “We have a couple of locations in mind, including a shop next door if the timing is right,” he says. “But this is the place for it. Paddington is full professionals who appreciate someone who works hard to do a nice job.”
Montrachet pop-up bakery is open April 2, 9, 16, 23, between 7am and 11am.