Baker on the Rise

Karlo Evaristo, formerly a fine-dining chef, has been selling sourdough loaves as a cottage enterprise for two years. Sound easy? It’s not. He plans to open 61 Hundred Bread in Santa Ana in early 2023.

Photographs by Emily J. Davis

RESEARCH

“I went to Paris, I went to the U.K. The pastries were better in the U.K. Before the trip, I asked some French bakers, ‘Where are the best croissants in Paris?’ They’re like, ‘You’re better off going to Korea or Japan—lots of up-and-coming bakeries there!’ I did a croissant crawl in San Francisco and New York—the best were at Arsicault in San Francisco.”

BAKING VS. COOKING

“It’s crazy; I’m even more obsessed with this than I was with cooking. And it’s worse because I do it in my home—I can do it anytime. There are times when it’s 3 or 4 in the morning, I want to redo something, and I just start mixing. … It’s really triggered something in me.”

LIFE BALANCE 

“I lack sleep. Three hours one night, four the next. Baking is long hours. Sourdough takes at least eight hours start to finish—eight consecutive hours. … It’s easier to work at night when (my wife and two children) are sleeping.”

HIS SIGNATURE BLUE-CORN MASA SOURDOUGH

“Bub and Grandma’s makes the best sourdough in L.A. When I was doing pasta pop-ups, Bub and Grandma’s and a Mexican concept using blue-corn tortillas did pop-ups in the same kitchen. Those blue-corn tortillas were so good! I tasted the sourdough and the blue-corn tortillas … and had an idea.”

OTHER PASSIONS

“Food photography (Instagram: @61hundredbread and
@karloevaristo). I also play drums. Music was my first passion. My brother and I had a band in the Philippines. I have an electronic drum kit … that I haven’t touched in months.” 

DELAYED OPENING

“I want to have products I’m happy with—in that sense, the delays have worked out for us. We’ll mostly offer bread and pastries, but I also want to tap into my chef experience with composed toasts and sandwiches. And I’m very happy with my cruffins (croissant-muffin hybrids).”


Read More from our November 2022 Bread Issue!