Kenji Kobayashi fell in love with French bread in his native Japan via Paul (chain of stores in France).
He decided to come to France to learn the trade.
Upon his arrival, he was disappointed to find out that what Paul outlets produced in France was nowhere near the quality of their Japanese cousins.
Working for a number of small bakers in France, he managed to get his official 'boulanger' diploma.
After that, he worked for large outlets whose industrial production was not for him. Thanks to a friend's introduction he landed at Du Pain et Des Idees (Bread and Ideas), a Parisian bakery known for its creative spirit under the stewardship of Christophe Vasseur.
The team he joined distinguished itself by being all female except for the owner.
Not content with making crusty baguettes day after day, Kenji Kobayashi has created distinct loaves such as Ginger bread with walnuts and maple syrup.
One that has captured the public's imagination is Nikka, a whisky flavored bread.
It was the star of a special evening at LMDW Fine Spirits in Paris recently where cheese, foie gras and of course whisky were paired with Nikka.
This piece is an adaptation of sorts in English from Rencontre avec un amoureux du pain, Kenji Kobayashi… et son pain au Whisky by Remi whose French only blog Painrisien is all about bread.
A Japanese man passion for bread in Paris for Tokyo Thursdays # 215
(* Photo of Nikka and its creator Kenji Kobayashi courtesy of Painrisien)