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Bread Furst’s Mark Furstenberg wins James Beard Award

The James Beard Foundation handed out its annual awards for restaurants and chefs Monday night in Chicago, and one local took home his first prize after multiple past nominations: Mark Furstenberg of Bread Furst was named Outstanding Baker.

He was both thrilled — and embarrassed— by the award.

“I was really happy to be thought of as one of the best bakers in America. I was really excited about being nominated all three times since the award was created,” Furstenberg said. (The Outstanding Baker category was created in 2015, and Furstenberg has been nominated every year.)

“Now that I am officially considered the best baker in America, I find it embarrassing,” he added.

  [ read full article ]

Mark Furstenberg of Bread Furst took home his first James Beard Award on Monday. (April Greer for The Washington Post)

bake from scratch


Master bread baker Mark Furstenberg talks about his signature dark-crusted bread and offers tips for achieving its texture and flavor at home.

Mark Furstenberg is passionate about bread. To be more specific, the 77-year-old baker and longtime Washingtonian has dedicated his nearly three-decades-long career to refining and popularizing dark-crusted bread and its aromatic blend of nutty flavors and crunchy texture. His commitment to crafting traditional breads for contemporary palates is something that’s garnered Mark the well-deserved respect of the bread-making world and, perhaps more importantly, the devotion of customers who regularly line up outside the door of his Connecticut Avenue bakery Bread Furst in northwest Washington, D.C. I recently spoke with Mark, who was eager to chat about the bakery, his bread baking inspirations, and, of course, that incredible dark crust.  [ read full article ]

Photography by April Greer



May 15, 2015 Laura Hayes

Mark Furstenberg You don’t have to be a green young thing to be buzzy. Mark Furstenberg is a septuagenarian getting recognition lately for his work at Bread Furst in Van Ness. First, he was nominated as a finalist in the national James Beard Awards category of outstanding baker. Then, the Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema delivered a relatively glowing review about the bakery and café serving everything from pastries and bialys to sandwiches on baguettes. Bread Furst bread has become so popular that you can now buy Mark's loaves at Whole Foods markets in Logan Circle, Friendship Heights and Tenleytown. His long legacy of providing DC with its bread began at Marvelous Market and later, The BreadLine. We snapped Mark with his longtime friend, chef Frank Ruta. [ read full article ]

Washington Post, Style

Master breadmaker Mark Furstenberg now content to change his tiny slice of the world

By T.R. Goldman, January 20



















Restaurateur Mark Furstenberg, 76, the man who brought world-class bread to Washington in 1990, opened his latest establishment, Bread Furst, in May. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)


Mark Furstenberg pads around Bread Furst, the Connecticut Avenue bakery he opened in May, like an aging Papa Bear. At 76, he’s alternately gruff and solicitous, carrying on conversations of equal vigor with 3-year-olds, his Amish produce man and longtime friends like Michel Richard of Citronelle fame, who drop by for coffee and a large, jagged slice of a buttered, toasted baguette.


“I made that. You should be nice to me,” he tells a little boy who glances at him warily after Furstenberg hands him a cookie.


Furstenberg walks up a short flight of steps to a tiny prep room known as the “savory” kitchen, where he starts slicing radishes.


“Why do I smell sugar burning?” he suddenly demands. [ read full article ]

Washington Post, Food

Bread Feast, a welcome taste of Palena

By Tom Sietsema, November 4



















Chefs Mark Furstenberg, from left, Aggie Chin and Frank Ruta take time out before the opening of their occasional restaurant, Bread Feast, staged in Furstenberg’s Bread Furst Bakery in Cleveland Park. The chefs hope to make their meals more inviting by interacting with the diners, Ruta says. (Kate Patterson/For The Washington Post)


The recent debut of Bread Feast at Bread Furst, a weekly dinner collaboration among chefs Frank Ruta and Aggie Chin of the late Palena and baker Mark Furstenberg of Bread Furst makes one thing abundantly clear: We miss Palena, the Cleveland Park dining destination celebrated for its weave of Italian and French accents. The restaurant shuttered in April.


A familiar, giddy frisson takes over my table when four of us ease into Ruta’s butternut squash and chanterelle bisque, its autumnal flavors nicely punctuated with saffron, hot pepper and lime zest, the last zap in a cap of whipped cream. No one needs to say a word; wide eyes and grins all around confirm the liquid perfection in our cups. A sliver of nutmeg-laced goat cheese tart channels Palena, too. Fennel in the delicate crust and fried artichokes atop the savory pie make for a quiche like no other.


Forgive me for getting ahead of myself. Suffice it to say, if you care about food, you’ll want to make a date with Bread Feast. [ read full article ]

NPR Story

The Splendid Table

At 75, opening a neighborhood bakery in Washington, D.C.

by Rebecca Sheir


Baker, entrepreneur and James Beard award-winning cook Mark Furstenberg is preparing to open Bread Furst, a neighborhood bakery located in northwest Washington, D.C. "Seventy-five-year-old people don’t generally start businesses," he says. "Seventy-five-year-old people generally are in Palm Beach or Palm Springs or some 'Palm.'" [ read full article ]


5 Things to Look For at Bread Furst

Old-fashioned bagels, a soda fountain, and breads galore
from Mark Furstenberg.
By Vicky Gan, May 9, 2014

The newest and most anticipated bakery in town, Bread Furst, arrives from a veteran on the food scene: Mark Furstenberg, the master baker who helped bring artisan bread to Washington in the ’90s with Marvelous Market and Breadline.


Though no longer affiliated with either business (coincidentally, the final Marvelous Market closed last week) Furstenberg is most enthusiastic about the new venture, calling it his “dream bakery.” The rustic space features white walls, marble countertops, and hardwood floors and shelving. Diners can watch bakers Ben Arnold and Jack Revelle—former pastry chefs at Restaurant Eve and the White House, respectively—through large glass windows. “It’s beautiful,” Furstenberg says of the space. “It’s planned just the way I wanted it to be—and I’ve had enough experience now to know what I wanted.” [ read full article ]

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