Baker’s Intoxicated on Grains

by Joanne on March 12, 2012

Another beautiful day in California.  On this particular morning, Gary (the grand prize winner in the commercial category of the Raisin contest for 2011) accompanied me on a morning run.  Gary is not an obsessed runner like me but did put in a good mile to start.  We ran and walked and talked until I left Gary to find my other fitness partner, Ted.  Ted was walking so I ran loops, up ahead then back.  It was a relaxed 9.24 miles.  Vacation runs are the best.  A much deserved break before the hard work begins again to get ready for Boston.

Back to the tour…

We packed and were all ready to rumble by 9 am.  The first stop, Bouchon Bakery.  At this point in the week and after spending days together, we were all family and sharing taste tests of the goodies snagged at Bouchon.


Hard to believe we were still eating.

Bouchon Bakery had a fire a few months back but rebuilt to a more efficient kitchen.  Luckily for us they reopened two weeks prior to our visit.

Back on the bus and headed toward San Francisco where we would tour the Boudin Bakery.


As I said, this point in our tour, we were all pretty comfortable with each other so the discussions on our bus ride were venturing from business professional, business casual, to past experiences with oh….say the wilder side of some winners.  It got quite entertaining.

Boudin’s – San Francisco Sourdough


We were given a history of the bakery, famous for the original San Francisco Sour Dough bread.  We watch as the bakers made the dough, adding important ingredients such as RAISINS. We sampled delicious breads and were given samples to take home.  Somehow, Ted and I missed this sampling distribution.  Next time (hopefully!).

The little bread turtles being formed.


We had extra time and split up to pursue our own interests in San Fran.  You really do see it all in California.  As Ted and I walked towards Pier 39, the crowd suddenly stopped dead still. There was some yelling and whooping and yipping.  We looked and starred and could not remove our eyes as a large group of cyclists rode by.

naked rider

NAKED AS THE DAY THEY WERE BORN!  Seriously – it ALL hung out …if you know what I mean.  MEN. WOMEN.  Cycling, running, riding skate boards, totally nude.   Ted said “You’re looking!”  I said “Well YEAH! But I don’t want this on my camera or phone!”   Most of the California Raisin tour group witnessed the same and if they didn’t, Philipe was kind enough (maybe CRUEL enough?!) to get a video.  After further investigation, they ride for a good cause. The naked riders are protesting the use of fossil fuels. Read more here.

After that experience, we needed to calm ourselves.  We enjoyed the Pier and the scenery.


Regrouping, back on the bus to Henderson Street to visit the famous Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream store, best known for unique flavor combinations.


Cheers!  Carrot Mango Sorbet and the Banana Chile Ice Cream


On to the Golden Gate Bridge.  At this point, there was non stop chatting at the back of the bus coupled with a lot of boisterous laughter.  It was the beer talking.  I think it was all down hill after our bakers donned the hair nets at Boudin’s.  The bakery brought out intoxicating effects of grains as the smell of dough filled the senses.  Then again, there was some imbuing of Irish beer and ales by some so that could have had something to do with it.  Where there is wheat and other grains, there are happy  bakers or rather INTOXICATED bakers.  By liquid or by solid, we feel the glee.

Golden Gate Bridge.

The fog had moved in and there was a gentle mist in the air.


The cool weather and not too bone chilling breeze didn’t stop some of us from walking across Golden Gate. Others, those California Raisin Contest participants who seemed intrigued by the idea of “liquid raisin bread” remained on the bus, as did Ted, for the easy ride over the water.


The view was interesting because as the fog was lifting, the sun came shining through, lighting up the city.  Unfortunately my travel camera could only capture so much and didn’t get a good photo of the Rock (Alcatraz).


There were no bands playing or fans cheering as the CA Raisin “walkers” met up with the CA Raisin “riders”.  We thought they would be waiting for us with banners and medals but no, just a simple “there’s the bathroom, let’s get going.”.

And our last stop on the tour, Sausalito.  We were scheduled for dinner at 7:30 and it was 5:30 pm when we arrived.  Perfect timing for a quick wine tasting.

DSC01297 DSC01298

Two whites and two reds.  Very unimpressive after tasting the best at Beringer.  The Sauvignon Blanc was crisp and light but the rest, non-complimentus.

Dinner at Scoma’s …. was early.  The host was able to take our party about an hour in advanced.


Pretty isn’t it?   It’s just as nice inside and the food was equally enjoyable.  Some of us began with the colorful garden of greenery.


and most of us enjoyed the Chioppino recommended by our California Raisin Board host, Larry.


The night came to an end.  Although we were all tired from a week of non stop travelling, learning, eating, fun, and laughter, it was time to part ways.  This new family of friends would go back to our worlds with hopes of meeting up again in this years 2012 contest hosted by the AIB in Manhattan, Kansas.

A world of thanks for experiences and knowledge Ted and I would have never enjoyed if it weren’t for California Raisin. I feel so fortunate to have been able to create a bread, The Marathon Mini Loaf (now renamed the 26.2 Mini Loaf) and have some of the worlds tops bakers recognize it’s potential.  That sure is a feather in my cap.


Get your pans ready. Get the creative juices flowing and submit an entry to this years contest.

real raisin  Raisin

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  • At 2012.03.13 09:41, Ali @ Peaches and Football said:

    Wow, looks like you guys are having a WONDERFUL time. I remember my freshman year of college when a group of students decided to streak across the courtyard on the final day of class. That was … interesting and it wasn’t for a good cause. Hee

    I’m so looking forward to reading all about your Boston prep and the actual run. I have SUCH an ambitious goal for myself this year – to run a full mile. It sounds so pathetic but I’ve never managed it yet, even at a slow jog. Hopefully this will be the year!

    • At 2012.03.13 18:40, Joanne said:

      We did have a great time. It was more than we had expected.

      • At 2012.03.13 11:30, Theresa Cogswell said:

        Glad you and the entire group had a WONDERFUL time. It is hard to describe how great the winner’s trip is until you actually experience the adventure with your fellow winners. Thank you for your amazing blog and for entering the contest. Hope to see you again next year!


        • At 2012.03.13 18:41, Joanne said:

          Thanks Theresa. We hope to join you again in Kansas this year. The creative juices are flowing. 🙂

          • At 2012.03.13 23:31, Bela said:

            Glad you are still having a fabulous time and isn’t naked cyclists an interesting sight 😉

            • At 2012.03.14 02:27, Julie said:

              Yummy! That’s what I’d call delicious! I wish I could eat some of them for this breakfast…

              • At 2012.03.15 08:19, Sophie @ Love Live & Learn said:

                This looks like an absolutely brilliant trip! The scenery is lovely. Not to mention the food looks amazing, I would love that almond croissant right now, they’re one of my favourite pastries 🙂 The Banana Chile ice cream sounds intriguing too!

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