I drove to The Bread Lab/Canlis Research Kitchen in Burlington to sit down with Brisbane, culinary director. Despite its seven ovens, The Bread Lab is a bit chilly and dark on this morning — and surprisingly still. “It’s a pretty big space for a few people,” says Brisbane, referring to the staff of five, plus three graduate students. The quiet is totally different from a busy restaurant kitchen.
Brisbane, 28, wears a gray apron and jeans, holding a Washington State University coffee cup. He says he shares the Canlis family’s commitment not only to serving outstanding and innovative food, but also to making the world a better place. “There’s a bigger mission,” he says. “I didn’t want to spend my career feeding the elite.”
A Washington native, Brisbane had heard about the groundbreaking work of Stephen Jones at The Washington State University Bread Lab, which started in 2011. Researchers there test 10,000 varieties of wheat, barley, buckwheat and other grains to develop new varieties that taste great, are nutritious and grow well in our climate.