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Best Capital Baguette: Finale at the embassy on Sept. 29, 2016!

Best Capital Baguette: Finale at the embassy on Sept. 29, 2016!

Published on September 2, 2016
The first contest to choose Washington’s best baguette
CLICK HERE and buy your tickets to the grand finale!


For years, the French baguette has won the hearts and taste buds of American customers. As a growing number of French boulangeries open in the United States each day, the French Embassy decided to put together an event that will promote this indispensable element of the country’s gastronomic heritage, as well as the best bakers in the Washington, D.C. region.

This is the first-ever competition of its kind organized in the nation’s capital and we’re counting on your participation to make it a memorable one!

The vote

A great many of you voted between June 7 and August 7 to choose your favorite baguette. Thank you for voting!

After a random drawing, 10 voters won tickets to the final contest as well as a gift basket of treats from our partners Bonne Maman, Président® Cheese, Lorina and the winning bakery!

The finalists

After weeks of suspense, here is the moment you have been waiting for, the names (in alphabetical order) of the finalist bakeries who will take part in the grand finale Thursday, September 29 at the French Embassy.


BREAD FURST
http://www.breadfurst.com

At Bread Furst, being an integral part of the community is the greatest joy of owner Mark H. Furstenberg. A pioneer who started Washington D.C.’s first bakery of traditional breads in 1990, Furstenberg noticed “there still were not neighborhood bakeries in the city.” So in 2014 he decided to open one in Van Ness. Furstenberg and his team including General Manager Eun Yim and Head Baker Ben Arnold serve traditional breads (including Palladin’s bread created for great D.C. chef Jean Louis Palladin), baguettes baked four times a day, delicious desserts and seasonal dishes. Bread Furst is a cozy, old-fashioned neighborhood bakery, where a largely local customer base can stop by with their kids before school, have a cup of coffee, and get to know the neighbors.

What makes your baguette the best?
”That is for others to decide. What we believe is that the baguette is the hardest bread to make. A good one has a thin crisp crust, and an open chewy interior. It should smell of fresh wheat, not sour, not yeast, almost milky... The baguette is a fresh bread, a naked bread in which no imperfection can be hidden.” —Mark H. Furstenberg, Owner


DOG TAG BAKERY
http://www.dogtagbakery.com

At Dog Tag Bakery in Georgetown you will find not only bread, but business ideas baking. In partnership with Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, they run a 5-month program for veterans with service disabilities to earn a certificate in business administration and get direct experience running this successful bakery. A veteran in their last rotation launched his own agricultural non-profit, Fields 4 Valor, providing fresh produce to recently returned veterans and their families. Executive Pastry Chef Rebecca Clerget brings years of experience in luxury hotels and confectioners across the United States and Europe to creating the range of breads and pastries, desserts and lunch menu. Dog Tag Bakery makes everything from scratch, and all proceeds go to their program.

What makes your baguette the best?
“We are using a preferment and that has been around since day one so it’s got history. We use organic flour, all of the ingredients are great and we worked really hard on it, we did a lot of testing!” —Rebecca Clerget, Executive Pastry Chef


FRESH BAGUETTE
http://www.freshbaguette.net

Fresh Baguette is named after its signature product, the traditional baguette. This Bethesda bakery brings the very best French techniques to the U.S; a cold dough process that develops unique flavors, homemade "levain" (leaven), and an oven imported from France with a stone based sole for outstanding baking. The result is a baguette that is light, airy, with just the right crunch and doesn’t require a trip to France. Baguette are baked throughout the day, so you can always get a fresh one.
I addition to the traditional baguette, they offer a variety of bread, all prepared and baked with the same care: Sesame or poppy baguette, 4-seed baguette, country baguette and loaf, whole wheat loaf, epeautre (Spelt) baguette and loaf, raisins and walnut loaf, apricot/figs/hazelnut loaf, and a variety of stuffed rolls such as Bacon/Swiss cheese, Mozarella/basil/dried tomatoes, Apricot or Chocolate chips
Bakery operations are headed by Quentin Bastien-thiry, a graduate of specialized artisanal baking school Ecole Banette. They have earned a reputation among the French community, with French expats making up about 10% of their customer-base. Making everything from scratch, Fresh Baguette have known such success that they are planning to open a larger bakery in Rockville to expand operations. The excitement of the bakery, according to de Felcourt, is that every day is a new challenge. “To make customers happy, to produce quality every day, we must always work attentively, there’s no break.”

What makes your baguette the best?
“Our process: treating our dough gently and making our own leaven, then baking in a French oven, which allows our baguette to rise in the oven instead of through an artificial process. We have a great respect for the dough.” —Florent de Felcourt, Founder


SILVA’S PATISSERIE
http://www.silvaspastry.com

Silva’s Patisserie in Vienna, VA has four generations of experience and passion behind every item they make in their small family bakery. Harry Sarkees and his mother Silva Derhagopian run this European style bakery committed to using traditional methods and high quality ingredients, all in the service of making something delicious for their community. Refusing to cut corners, relationships and integrity are the cornerstones of the business; “I love that I put a true honest product on the table” Sarkees explains. Sarkees learned from his mother, whose training goes back to her great grandfather, a baker for the military in France. A branch of the family also still runs a bakery in Lyon. “My mother still tells me stories while we’re making European pastries,” says Sarkees “things she remembers doing as a child. 40-50 years later things really haven’t changed that much.”

What makes your baguette the best?
“Very simple. Flour, water, salt, yeast and the most important thing, time. You can’t hurry a good product. It’s really that simple.” —Harry Sarkees, Owner/ Baker


The grand finale

These four bakeries will participate in the grand finale of the contest at the French Embassy on Thursday, September 29, 2016.

At this soiree, the Best Capital Baguette champion will be named by a jury of professionals who will taste and deliberate during the event. This evening is open to the public with ticket purchase.

As they deliberate, you will have a chance to meet the finalists and taste their offerings as well as charcuterie, cheese and jams from our partners.

Hurry up, buy your tickets today!

Stay connected

More information to come—stay connected with us and share the event with your friends and family!

Follow the French Embassy in the U.S.
http://www.facebook.com/FranceInTheUs
http://twitter.com/franceintheus
http://instagram.com/franceintheus

Follow the WASHINGTONIAN Magazine
http://www.facebook.com/washingtonian
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Follow FRENCH MORNING
http://www.facebook.com/French-Morning-English-Edition-625491597489968
http://twitter.com/frenchmorningen
http://www.instagram.com/french_morning_nyc

The sponsors

Thanks to our generous sponsors for making this event possible.

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