I used to work in a bakery, but it wasn’t a bread bakery. It was a custom cake and high end dessertery (yes I just made that word up). When I would say this to people they would inevitably lift their heads a bit and say, “Ooooh, what time do you have to wake up in the morning?” We opened at 9am, and I got there at 9am. No early mornings here! All of this is to say that until my current position at a restaurant where we make our own bread daily, I had never made bread, except in school.
The Sous Chef where I currently work is always challenging me to make new things or to make them fresher or better or more authentic, all of which I resist because it is so much easier to stick to what I know. The other day he made some spectacular roasted caramelized onions and suggested we use them on a focaccia. We had some slightly overproofed pizza dough, and I suggested we use them instead, but he said I should make a real focaccia dough. Begrudgingly, I proceeded to pull out my book and look for a recipe. The end result was so amazing that the kitchen staff and servers ate most of it, and left very little for any customers. One of the perks of the kitchen, I guess.
So, Tony, here in black and white, thanks for pushing the boundaries of what I want to do. Thanks for believing that I can do anything. I will push back, you just need to keep pushing a bit harder.

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