If you haven’t caught the name of the guy behind the bread at Fabbrica Pasta Shop yet, commit it to memory, this one’s gonna be big. Though Aniruddha Bhosekar isn’t one to brag, he’s just here to bake.  

 

Though pasta usually steals the show, it’s likely you’ve tasted Ani’s soft, sour, caramelised-crusted dough at Ragazzi, Fabbrica Pasta Shop, Dear, Sainte Éloise or Love Tilly Devine. It’s straight up incredible bread. Ani’s talents extend to pastry too - bomboloni filled with buttery lemon curd or gianduja, coffee and wattleseed tarts, or sfogliatelle so flaky a bite showers you in tiny curls of pastry. It’s time the world got to know him, so listen up!

 

Hey Ani, how are you right now, in emoji form? 

😅 😅 😅

 

Can you describe your role at Fabbrica?

Yes! So my main role at Fabbrica involves baking lots of bread for the shopfront and for the sister restaurants of the Love Tilly Group: Ragazzi Wine & Pasta, Dear, Sainte Éloise, Love, Tilly Devine and very soon, Bar La Salut! We’ve also recently started ‘Fabbrica Bread Shop’, a bake sale where we produce a spread of baked goods on Saturdays!

 

Did the lockdown affect your work at all? 

I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of the Love Tilly Group over both the lockdowns so far (2020 and 2021). The genius of Fabbrica Pasta Shop, an idea born out of the first lockdown last year as a pandemic contingency plan, meant that we could stay open as an essential service and introduce a variety of takeaway options and dinner packs. The Same-Day Delivery service has kept a lot of our staff busy producing and delivering the goods! 

 

Roasted asparagus, pea, buffalo curd, mint and pickle sandwich at Fabbrica.
Aniruddha Bhosekar and his loaves.

How / why / when did you get started in baking? 

Ooooh tough one! I think it all comes down to one person though. It would have to be Chef Jaeson Cardoz, the ex-bakery instructor (and life coach) at the culinary institute I attended back in India (IHM Mumbai). He also happened to be my class counsellor so a few of us were lucky enough to spend more time learning from this incredible teacher. He taught us about baking and patisserie and the discipline required in this particular field. It really sparked an interest in me and I was more inclined towards baking very quickly although I still have a massive interest in learning more tricks of the trade, like butchery and cheesemaking etc. ‘Jack of all trades’ as a phrase is looked at very negatively I think!

 

What does your daily routine look like? Exactly how early do you have to get up in the morning?

Since Fabbrica is not a wholesale bakery, I, in a baker’s world, have the luxury of waking up at 3:30am-3:45am. It still sounds pretty early but there are so many other bakers who wake up way before I do! 

Work starts at 5:00am. Setting up the oven and weighing up recipes for the day are the first tasks. I bake the Pan de Cristal first as it’s the bread we use for sandwiches so it needs to cool down before it gets sliced! Next up, the sourdough. While the bread’s baking, I’m mixing the dough for the next day’s bake. Around 10:00am I bake a couple of focaccia for the shop and while they’re in the oven, I prep for an ever-changing pastry offering. Think bomboloni, cannolis, sfogliatelle, frangipane tarts and that kind of thing.  Around midday I start shaping all the bread for the next day’s bake. I usually start wrapping up around 1:30-2:00pm. In an ideal world, I’d try and go to the gym after work at least 3 or 4 times a week since there’s one like two mins away from work. Then it's just the usual, going home and kicking back on the couch till bedtime, which can vary from 9:00pm to sometimes pretty late!  

 

You get thrown a lot of wild bread briefs from Fabbrica and other restaurants in the Love Tilly Group - what are some requests you've had lately to develop, and how do you approach new challenges?

Working among such talented chefs in the Love Tilly Group provides enough enthusiasm to take on new challenges, to try and contribute to an idea, seeing how it materialises and eventually find its way onto a menu. The most recent ones would be the miniature sourdough we made for the Ragazzi Dinner Pack. Maj (head chef Alex Major), at Ragazzi, wanted a bread loaf enough for two people that would be a sufficient accompaniment to his menu but something that’s a little bit more than just dinner rolls. Simon (Drolz-Cox, head chef)’s Garlic Bread Ciabatta for DSE’s date-night takeaway dinner menus is another. And the soft roll for a delicious chicken sandwich at Fabbrica that chef Tom Cleland and I must have trialled at least a dozen times in order to get an all-around great sandwich! 

 

Ani's sourdough.
Potato and rosemary focaccia, with thinly sliced guanciale.

Sourdough is a bit of a badge of honour for many restaurants who make their own - when you started baking for Fabbrica, what did you have in mind? What is the result like?

It’s like I mentioned before. Working with the talented folk in the Love Tilly Group meant that the product had to be in line with the high standards of the company. If customers keep going back for the incredible food and service across all the venues in the Group, the bread needed to be at the same level! In the early days of Fabbrica, [chef] Toby Stansfield and I listed out a few different flours we’d need to produce a tasty loaf. We arrived at the result pretty quickly and then it was a process of creating a routine for the bread. We were both looking for a loaf that was slightly malty, chewy yet with a soft crumb with a dark, caramelised shatter-y crust that you could eat by itself with some butter, as a meal. The recipe has been tweaked since, to get consistent results and even though it’s the same process every day, I doubt I’ll ever get tired of pulling fresh bread out of the oven every morning.

 

What kind of cool equipment do you work with at Fabbrica? Anything special?

Urmm the Blast Chiller, maybe? It can be very cool (seriously). The speed at which it can go to -40 degrees is insane! Apart from that the veg prep Robot Coupe. We churn through a lot of Pangrattato and that thing is like a paper shredder for bread. 

 

You're also extremely pastry-talented - what are some of the favourite pastries you've worked on?

Haha, that’s very kind! Thank you! I think any kind of laminated pastry is my absolute favourite to make. It’s so technical and requires so much concentration. Croissants and sfogliatella [a leafy multi-layered pastry stuffed with sweet ricotta] would definitely top that list. I saw sfogliatella on Maeve O’Meara’s Food Safari years ago and have been fascinated by it ever since! I hope to go to Italy one day and try the real thing. 

 

You grew up in India, and your family is still there — does your upbringing influence your baking at all? How?

I grew up in Thane, the neighbouring city to Mumbai. You could say it’s like Parramatta to Sydney. My parents live in Thane as does my extended family. My sister lives in Singapore and most of my cousins are now in different parts of the globe. Growing up in India, surrounded by so many festivals, there’d always be great food around you. I had no intention of being a chef as a kid but always loved eating and watching food and travel shows on TV. When our family would get together for every festival, the company and food meant more than the festival itself for me personally. Sure, the food I grew up eating is a lot different from what I make, wayyyy different from bread making for sure, but it’s the underlying idea of bringing people together and sharing great food that’s the biggest influence on me and my work. I do hope to be able to serve Bun Maska (soft roll and butter) and Chai or Khari (puff pastry biscuit) at some stage, here in Sydney. I think I definitely fell in love with baked goods because of those two items you’d get in any Indian bakery!

 

Bar La Salut is coming soon! Are you working on anything special for the bar? I've heard rumours of pan de cristal...?

Bar La Salut opens up so many possibilities! Scotty [Executive Chef Scott McComas-Williams] and I have been chatting about a couple of different ideas for breads. Yep, Pan de Cristal is one of them! It’s a Catalan ciabatta with over 100% hydration meaning there’s more water than flour in the dough! 😉 

 

Chicken, house-made Tathra Place bacon and cos lettuce sandwich on a soft roll (Above) Fabbrica's bomboloni (Left)

What bakers or bakeries inspire you across the world? Any favourite baking insta accounts you can share?

Ah there’s so many! I came to Australia almost five years ago mainly because of the amazing and fast growing baking community here. Michael James was at Tivoli Road Bakery then, always such a huge inspiration. Through TRB’s Instagram account I learned about the GrAiNZ movement (previously BreadEd), a community of bakers, millers, grain growers all learning from one another. There’s Dougal Muffett who I’d already met when I started working at Bacco, and I’m really excited for him and A.P. Bread! Instagram has helped me connect with a lot of talented people within Australia. Ces (Providence & Dust Bakehouse), Drew aka Wildcatfalling (Dimitri’s Pizzeria), Shady (Pioik), Quentin (Q Le Baker), Chef Daria (Stix) to name a few. All legends of their game! Across the world the likes of Tartine, Bouchon, Hart Bageri, Roscioli etc are a huge source of inspiration!

 

Follow Ani’s work at Fabbrica Pasta Shop, Ragazzi Wine & Pasta, Dear, Sainte Éloise, Love, Tilly Devine, Bar La Salut and on his own Instagram account. 

 

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