By Alan Sytsma New York Magazine
If anyone ever assembled a crop-breeding all-star team, Washington State University’s Dr. Stephen Jones would be the captain. Jones, a wheat breeder, pals around with chefs like Blue Hill‘s Dan Barber and Tartine‘s master baker Chad Robertson, while his facilities, located about an hour north of Seattle, have become a sort of unofficial national headquarters for people interested in bread at its most fundamental level: the seed itself.
The first time I heard of Jones was at Barber’s restaurant near Tarrytown, Blue Hill at Stone Barns. During dinner about a year ago, a bread course — a compact slice of dark, sweet, just totally perfect whole-grain toast — was accompanied by a server carrying an iPad into the dining room. She wanted to tell our table a bit more about Barber’s plans for his bread. The chef had been working with Jones to develop his very own grain that prioritized flavor over any other trait. As Barber explains in his book The Third Plate, this wasn’t genetic modification — it was OG breeding, manually mixing the pollen of one wheat variety into the stigma of another (in this case, a prized Spanish variety named Aragon 03).
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