We have both been courting Della Fattoria for years. I was first introduced to the bakery through my weathered Artisan Baking Across America book, which lovingly details a quaint brick oven bakery in the backyard of Petaluma couple Kathleen and Edmund Weber.
While I don't remember the restaurant I ate at, I do remember the revelation experienced when I unknowingly tasting their bread the first time. It was the best I'd ever eaten. I inquired of it's whereabouts, and later discovered that the Whole Foods in Mill Valley carries their products.
One of the most exciting (and dangerous) discoveries at our Thursday San Rafael Market has been the Della Fattoria stand. Their morning pastries are VERY hard to resist. Even when I bring my own oatmeal, it often goes uneaten, a sad second compared to almond croissant. Their breads are gorgeous works of culinary art. Since we can be found standing in their line a few times a day, we got to talking to Edmund, who invited us to come shape and bake bread one afternoon.
First off, the place is just as idyllic as it sounds on paper. The bakers shape bread on two enormous marble tables set in a converted barn filled with sunlight, enjoying pastoral views complete with sheep and roosters. The Webers have a huge plot of land with several edifices, including their children's homes and a dorm for visiting interns from the Culinary Institute of America. Their home and bakery breath life. The people who work there, the milling of friends coming in and out throughout the course of the afternoon, the pot of dinner cooking in a cooler nook between the two giant ovens. While clean and professional, it lacks the soulless, sterile aesthetic of most commercial bakeries. Can we live here?
- Traci and Jenya
This afternoon, for the first time in Vesta history, we'll be taking Bessie the trailer through the Webster street tube. Why? To feed wild revelers at the Crab Cove concert series tonight. The free concerts are presented by the West Alameda Business Association. Today's is the first of the year, a duet by Open Opera, a group dedicated to bringing opera to the public.Music and flatbread for the people!