Tableside With Ryan Morgan of Sixteen Bricks

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Sixteen Bricks opened in 2012, and over the past two years has taken the bread market by storm. Owner Ryan Morgan, a motorcycle repairman-turned-baker, relies on traditional French methods and a time-honored fermentation process to keep Cincinnati chefs coming back for more.

Illustration by Chrissy Lau

How’d you get your start?
I worked for Johnson & Johnson, made six figures, and had three weeks vacation—I never expected to become a baker. But my mother owned this bakery—Sweet Williams—and it turns out she wasn’t really a baker, so I took over.

Who trained you?
I worked briefly for Lionel Vatinet at La Farm Bakery in North Carolina. Then Jeff Yankellow, a Coupe du Monde [international bread award] winner, helped us redo all the bread formulas.

Your breads are in the best restaurants in town.
When Todd Kelly decided to go with us, I felt like I was really able to do this job.

You must keep busy.
Our day starts at 7 a.m. when we start mixing dough. All bread has to be out of the oven by 1 a.m. The clean-up crew comes in about midnight. They clean first, then package and label all the bread. Then the driver shows up at 5:30 a.m., finishes baking off the pretzels, packs the van, and hits the road.

What keeps you going?
I’d say passion and a love of good bread.

Sixteen Bricks, 4760 Paddock Rd., Bond Hill, (513) 873-1426

Originally published in the February 2015 issue.

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