Sunday February 24, 2019, Charlie and I got to attend and judge the second, Best Baguette New York 2019 contest sponsored by French Morning, a French online news magazine.

Best Baguette New York 2018 Basjket with Heart Shaped Baguettes

The quality of the bread available in New York has radically improved.  There were nearly 20 bakeries represented among them: Almondine, Epicerie Boulud, Breads Bakery, Choc -O-Pain, La Boulangerie, Le District, Le French Dad Boulangerie, Maison Kayser, Orwashers, Pain d’Avignon, Récolte, Silver Moon Bakery and Vaucluse.  And we sampled many really great loaves of bread.

Gorgeous basket of baguettes Best baguette New York 2019

And as before, the baguette from the global bakery chain Maison Kayser won the prize. That’s no surprise because it was remarkably crisp with the kind of well-developed yet tender crumb one associates with a fine baguette.

Cross section of an excellent baguette at Best Baguette New York 2019

We shared the judges’ panel with Strasbourg chef Antoine Westermann, Gourmet Garage executive chef Georges Masraff and writer Marc Levy. (It was a thrill to meet them all especially M. Levy whose books I have read and enjoyed.)

Charlie van Over studying the array of baguettes at Best baguette New York 2019

The judges top three choices for best baguette were near unanimous!  What struck me as a first-time participant was the range of styles submitted purporting to be baguettes.  A baguette has specific characteristics – crisp crust, well-developed cell structure, tender flavorful crumb.  Many entries were more like sticks of sourdough (pain au levain), not what one associates with a baguette.


Read more about the contest and see more photos here.