The Baker: Dominique Geulin, MOF
Dominique Geulin's passion for baking took root in the coastal Normandy town of Etretat. As a young boy, living above the family bakery, he learned the secrets to traditional bread baking from his father, Hubert.
After high school, Dominique enrolled in The Baking School, in nearby Rouen. There, he was noticed and invited to move to Portland, Oregon in the early 80s to help open Le Panier, an authentic French bakery in Old Town. It was during this stay in the Pacific Northwest that Dominique began to appreciate the Northwest lifestyle. After five years in Portland, Dominique returned to France and the family bakery. During this time, he also consulted to specialty French bakeries around the world from Africa to Asia. He continues to work closely with some of the most prestigious French bakeries in Japan.
"The Pacific Northwest has so much bounty here and we are committed to using sustainable ingredients in all our pastries and breads. I've come far from Normandy, but I am still living up to my family's high standards - at least, when it comes to baking."
Later came technical training at the American Institute of Baking in Kansas. After graduation in 1990, while waiting for a work permit to return to Portland, Dominique, 27, entered France's most prestigious competition "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" to honor the country's best artisan craftspeople and promote France's long tradition of knowledge and artistry. After constructing a bread sculpture of the Eiffel Tower and executing a strenuous baking test for two days, Dominique received the award of Meilleur Ouvrier de France in the boulangerie category from late French President François Mitterand in 1990.
In 1991 Dominique returned to Portland where he eventually met and married his wife, Stephanie. Together, in December 2003, they opened St. Honoré, their own French bakery. "It was and still is an awe-inspiring endeavor, but one we love." Dominique, Stephanie, and their two young sons, Thomas and Matthew, have found a niche in Portland and have become true members of the community.