Robert Fecteau is an controlling chef, chef and co-owner with his wife, Avra Hoffman, of the berserk acknowledged BirchTree Aliment Co., a bakery and café amid in the Crompton Abode building, 138 Green St., Worcester.
The business opened in the abatement of 2014 and revolves about the alpha artisanal breads dreamed up by Fecteau, who aboriginal began a career as a chef and again baker.
The cold on Fecteau’s chef résumé afore he was a business owner: “To access my comestible acquaintance and ability through a array of experiences, cultural and situational, so that I may bigger accurate myself through the aliment I allotment with others.”
Fecteau, originally from Spencer, advised at Quinsigamond Association College in Worcester. In 2004, he formed at Five Loaves Bakery in Spencer, “learning all aspects of the artisan bread-baking operation.”
He apprenticed at the Castle Restaurant in Leicester beneath the backward Stanley J. Nicas, controlling chef/owner, and after became sous chef there. He won Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice awards in Worcester’s Best Chef Competition at that time.
He has acquired acquaintance in the aback of the abode in assorted chef positions at Fava in Needham, the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, Ames Hotel in Boston and 88 Wharf Riverfront Grill in Milton.
He was arch chef at The Swan and The Duck in Sturbridge, restaurants endemic and operated by the Table 3 Restaurant Group in Sturbridge. He alternate to Five Loaves Bakery in Spencer in 2013 as arch baker. He additionally apprenticed at bakeries in the San Francisco Bay area.
Fecteau, 37, said amid the time he was 18 and 20, he catholic through best of the United States and some genitalia of Canada. “I lived in a monastery, formed the fields of an amoebic farm, played guitar in a traveling bandage and did association service,” he said.
During those years, Fecteau said, he abstruse a lot about himself and the apple we alive in. It gave him “discovery of his own individuality and additionally a abundant acknowledgment of the assortment of others.” It has been an asset that he has brought with him to every kitchen he has formed in, he said.
Fecteau and his wife abide in Charlton. She was an English abecedary afore advancing on lath at BirchTree.
“If my wife and I are not working, we adore disposed to our garden and our army of 20 chickens,” said Fecteau. “When we get out of town, we like to go hiking in the dupe and breathe in alpha alfresco air.
“We are actual blessed about the success of BirchTree,” said Fecteau. “But we could not do any of it alone. We accept a actual talented, aggressive aggregation and would like to accede that they are amenable for the activating abode that BirchTree has become.”
In August, Fecteau and Hoffman were accustomed in Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Beneath Forty, a accolade to ascent stars of the Central Massachusetts business community. BirchTree employs 30 and serves 4,000 guests per week, according to the appear article.
BirchTree has becoming a austere bounded following, acknowledgment to dedicated, amorous owners.
BirchTree Aliment Co. is accessible 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Pizza on Wednesdays and Fridays is from 6 to 9 p.m. The café card offers a alternative of soup, salads, sandwiches, ambrosia and a circadian special. In addition, guests can adjustment beer and wine and specialty coffees. Telephone: (774) 243-6944. Visit www.birchtreebreadcompany.com to apprentice added about circadian specials and menu, aliment varieties, anniversary acclimation and appropriate events. Connect on Facebook. Note: BirchTree participates in farmers markets in and out of the Worcester area. Locations are listed on the company’s website.
BirchTree will accept a Beer Banquet Series the aboriginal Thursday of anniversary month, alpha with a five-course banquet commutual with beer from Worcester’s Wormtown Brewery on Nov. 2. Visit the BirchTree website for added advice about tickets.
1. What’s your admired bargain eat?
Sardines and benumbed arena aureate crackers.
2. Who were your better influences?
My grandmothers, Stanley Nicas and William Kovel.
My (Italian) grandmother on my mom’s ancillary fabricated amazing pasta, seafood dishes and Italian cookies. There was so abundant aliment back the ancestors got calm that there was hardly any bare adverse or table space. On my (French) father’s ancillary my grandmother adapted alarmist and onions, meat pies, attic and lots of vegetables (Provencal style) from the garden. Every Saturday, she fabricated broiled beans with alkali pork and Sundays she broiled all kinds of pies, including raspberry, blueberry and auto meringue. Stanley Nicas and his absolute ancestors absolutely formed me into a chef. At the Castle Restaurant in Leicester, I apprenticed and abstruse the conduct and adamantine assignment all-important to accomplish it in the restaurant industry. Back alive for William Kovel at the Four Seasons in Boston, I abstruse a lot of aesthetic French affable techniques, which led me to advance my own affable style.
3. What’s your best best memorable meal?
Last summer while on vacation in the Basque arena of Spain, I had cafeteria at Bodegon Alejandro in San Sebastian, and it lasted four hours. It was a meal area aliment and account were impeccable; you didn’t appetite it to end. There were six of us, additional my 1-year-old nephew, Marcus, who was blessed and agreeable for the absolute meal. We had our own clandestine allowance that was in the apartment of the restaurant. The meal consisted of alpha prawns, spider crab, broiled hake, pork abdomen and some of the best beef I’ve anytime eaten in my life. We additionally drank some absolutely amazing Spanish wines; I would appraisal at atomic two bottles for anniversary of us. But the best allotment of this meal was the aggregation and the action we had. It was absolutely timeless.
4. What additive are you bedeviled with?
Salt brings out the acidity of food. It is acclimated to cure meats and angle and agitate vegetables. Alkali gives gluten backbone in aliment making. I adulation absolutely high-quality mineral-rich alkali for finishing dishes. Try boilerplate ice chrism with olive oil and blah salt. It is awesome!
5. What’s your accusable aliment pleasure?
A absolutely acceptable cut of pork that is fatty, salty, dank and has brittle skin. With a acceptable Rhone or southern French wine, I am in my glory.
6. What’s the kitchen apparatus you can’t do without?
Extremely aciculate knives for affable and a bank knife for baking.
7. What aliment trend has outlived its welcome, and any abstraction of what’s the aing trend in the aliment world?
Gluten chargeless is on its way out (except for those with austere digestive issues). I apprehend an advancement trend in sourdough aliment burning and the use of antique varieties of vegetables and ancestry grains.
8. What would you be accomplishing if you weren’t a chef?
9. What’s your admired meal to accomplish at home?
Corn tortillas and absurd eggs with broiled cheddar cheese, Valentina (hot sauce), adhesive and salt.
10. What’s the strangest affair in your fridge at home?
Wild animal sausage I banned home from Italy.
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