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Fol Epi Bakery

November 23, 2009

Victoria BC is really growing into a foodie mecca and Cliff Leir’s beautiful breads are leading the charge!  I had to feature this beautiful bakery as it satisfies both my design and food desires.  Cliff has set up shop at Dockside Green complete with a hand built wheat grinder and a brick oven that sits half inside and half outside. The name Fol Epi mans “wild wheat stalk”.  Fol Epi breads are probably the closest I’ve tasted to the French and European breads I’ve had.  The shop is designed beautifully with reclaimed wood, slate for serving platters, iron and brick.  The breads are made in a traditional manner with starters and ferments.  Then they’re hand shaped with care and attention.

I was lucky enough to spend about an hour or so hanging out, taking pictures, laughing and trying a sip of some amazing apple eau de vie that Cliff made at home.  What I learned is that Cliff doesn’t take himself seriously.  When I asked him why bread he said that an Old Russian guy convinced him to build a brick oven in his driveway and well…the rest is history.  Does he love what he does…his answer is like anyone who is working their passion, “sometimes yes, sometimes no”.  “I don’t always love getting up at 3 in the morning and I sometimes don’t love having rain pelting me as I ride to work.  But then sometimes the feel of the rain on my face is soothing and amazing”

I hope that the pictures above shine some light onto a beautiful craft and convince you to go and try some of Cliff’s breads.  If that isn’t enough then maybe heading next door to dip your all butter croissant in a Caffe Fantastico cappuccino will convince you.  Here are the directions.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter permalink
    November 23, 2009 8:52 am

    Peter, those photos are the start of smell-a-vision, they triggered the memory of the smell of yeast, fresh baked bread and finally the sweet smell of that delicious dark brown chocolate.

    In world that is almost dominated by supermarkets and other big stores it’s good to know there are still people, like Cliff and yourself, who want to be different, show their craftmanship.

  2. November 23, 2009 12:50 pm


  3. November 23, 2009 6:46 pm

    Wow. You are truly an incredible photographer. I wish I were close enough to try some of his bread. Beautiful post!

  4. November 24, 2009 3:20 am

    What a gorgeous blog you have here!! Just discovered it thx to El and I couldn’t be not seduced as a baker and a bread lover by your latest post!! Wish I was there to try Cliff’s bread and see him work!!

  5. November 27, 2009 7:05 am

    When Jenn over at Finest Foodie Friday wrote “wow” about your pictures, she was not exaggerating. You are one amazing photographer, gosh I am so inspired now!! So glad I found this blog!!!

  6. November 29, 2009 5:59 pm

    Incredible. You have quite an eye. The colors are just so inviting. I wish I lived closer so I could visit this bakery

  7. December 4, 2009 2:17 pm

    I could not see 3 pictures but I love the ones that I can see. I was in Victoria last week. If I had know about this place I would have stopped. Next time I’ll be in Victoria will be over Xmas. I’ll try their bread since we can’t find a good one in Comox. I miss Montréal’s bakeries.

  8. January 6, 2010 1:37 pm

    This may be a bit weird, but a thought popped in my head about how “Closet Chef” would be a great title for some type of food blog or website. Once I googled it I was brought to your site and was really amazed at what you have created with this blog.

    I have a friend who is going to begin his culinary arts training soon and I spoke to him about the many great blogs all about food and people’s own personal experiences working in the field. I too love to cook as well, just never went into the field to work. I have now shared your blog with him and just wanted to say this is really great what you have created and I wish you the best of luck and hope you continue.

    The pictures are really awesome and I know other people who would love to view this site as well so I’ll pass it on. Thanks for sharing and much success.


  9. October 6, 2010 8:42 am

    Lovely to hear about that bakery! The pictures are gorgeous…

  10. December 8, 2010 8:18 am

    Haven’t been on the site in a while and these pictures are making me wonder: “why, you fool?!?”.

    Simply stunning shots, Peter 🙂

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