“I drank a whole bottle of vodka last night. I usually get up and make bread, but because I haven’t drank in so long, I’m so hung over. So, I didn’t get up to make bread.” said head chef and baker, Cliff, of La Maison in Newport, Oregon.
Hearing Cliff explain the bakery’s shortcoming of the day, I couldn’t help by want to talk to the overweight tattooed, weather beaten fisherman behind the counter, dressed in his whites and the proper French Chef hat. I watched him make order after order with detail and care, placing each element on the plate where it was suppose to go. La Maison, with it’s mild green paint and homey craftsman’s style curb appeal, doesn’t look like much where it sits on a side street in Newport, Oregon. Yet inside, the hanging bread racks, fresh pastries and made to order French Cuisine do an outstanding job at removing you from Oregon and placing you in the French country-side.
Me: So made you want to become a pastry chef?
Cliff: Well I was a fisherman for years. I just loved to eat and I loved to fish. And when I got a brain injury and I couldn’t fish anymore, then I just wanted to eat. So I thought what’s better than a bakery. What did you have?
Me: Eggs Benedict.
Cliff: Oh the Benedict. Oh yeah it doesn’t get any better than that anyway. Everything about that is homemade, even the English Muffin. Everything in here is homemade. Except for bread. We didn’t make bread today. Drank to much. Hahaha!