Washington native Leslie Nicolas arrives at Grand Central Bakery in the wee hours to fill it with delicious things to eat.
“I like the structure – baking the same things every morning but also seasonal things that are different,” says Nicolas, who bakes some of Seattle’s best pastries at Grand Central’s Burien Bakery.
“You’re baking about 20 things every day in a 5 or 6 hour shift, so you have to do a lot at once. I have all my croissants and other things in the oven, and at the same time I’m mixing and making coffee cake, muffins, biscuits – I always have two or three things to pay attention to.
“You have the recipe when you start, but once you start mixing and forming and baking, it’s all by touch and by eyesight, so that’s the more important part – judgment.
“I come in at 4:30 a.m. and by 6 a.m., everything’s finished for the pastry case. Then you start prepping for the next day.”