The competition for the best baguette in Miami has reached an end — and a verdict. Lovers of good bread met at the National Hotel in Miami Beach on Sunday, March 17, for the grand finale of the Best Baguette Miami 2019 competition. A bread-filled event that brought together more than 200 people to taste the artisanal creations of the five bakeries that topped the French Morning and Frenchly reader polls.
The jury of professionals who blind taste tested the breads unanimously awarded the Grand Prize for the best baguette in Miami to Madruga Bakery, located in the heart of Coral Gables. “It’s a great recognition that encourages me to keep up the hard work and bring in more fans,” says 30-year-old Naomi Harris, who opened her family business just two years ago. (Funnily enough, “madruga” means “the act of getting up early” in Spanish, which is exactly what you have to do to make good baguette.)
“Even if the level of competition among the finalists was once again very high, we quickly reached an agreement,” says Yann Rio, a private chef in Miami and member of the jury which, during the blind taste tests, examined the appearance, texture and aroma of the baguettes made by the various candidates. “What made the difference is that Madruga’s bread has the crunchy exterior and the soft texture of the interior while also having different emerging flavors.”
Another address in Miami, one known to lovers of refined Italian cuisine, also stood out thanks to the Special Bread Prize: Casa Tua Cucina. The activated charcoal bread of this institution, located in Brickell, made the jury salivate. “This proves that Italian bakers can also make delicious baguettes,” says Palmiro Petrini, the Casa Tua Cucina’s baker. The Italian craftsman had a double-win this year by also taking home the Public Prize, awarded to the baker that received the most votes from the attending public. “This is a tribute to the efforts made to continue writing this beautiful family story that began many years ago when my grandfather, who was a baker in Italy, passed on his passion and expertise to me.”
Awarded the Public Prize in 2016, Patrick Baboun, who heads the bakery Les Délices de France, near Palmetto Bay, was left without a title. The Italian bakery Buon Pane Italiano, run in Miami Beach by Dario Cestaro, who won the Specialty Bread Prize in 2017, also left empty-handed.
“Even if we didn’t win, all the bread we had prepared for the competition was eaten by the attendees — proof that it’s not so bad,” jokes David Lewis, who recently took over the Euro Bread & Café bakery in Davie. “In any case, it was a very beautiful event that we were taking part in for the first time and even if victory escaped us this year, I can assure you, at the next competition, we’ll win.”
Pictures : Youri Fatianoff