The Sweeter Things in Life
Feb 14, 2012 (Kerrville Daily Times – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) — As a self-proclaimed “chocoholic,” it’s no wonder chef Alain Dubernard, of the Culinary Institute of America, of San Antonio, enjoys his work in consulting with bakeries and cafes around the world.
Dubernard, an award-winning and world-renowned baker, is a Certified Master Baker and Certified Hospitality Educator. He has served as the associate dean for baking and pastry making at the Culinary Institute of America’s main campus in Hyde Park, N.Y., and has worked in high-profile establishments in Mexico City, Paris and London.
During the past few weeks, he has journeyed to Kerrville to help the owners and staff of The Sweeter Side of Rails tweak their recipes before they opened their doors on Tuesday.
“It is very exciting,” he said. “It’s a very small bakery, but it is a fantastic place — a very friendly environment.”
Dubernard was born between France and Spain to French parents and spent much of his childhood in Mexico. He has a fondness for tropical fruits, chocolate and French pastry. However, he said he thoroughly enjoyed the “very American” cupcakes and cookies The Sweeter Side has to offer.
“They have lemon cupcakes and root beer cupcakes — it’s very interesting,” he said. “They are doing a good job with mastering flavors and quality.”
As an educator, it is Dubernard’s job to make sure the staff is preparing the treats to the best of their ability.
“We offer positive feedback — it’s the only way to grow,” he said. “I guide them; I’m more of an educator. That’s what we do in America, we educate.”
During his visits to various establishments, Dubernard must roll up his sleeves and submerge himself in the business.
“It’s always a different set up, and it takes a few hours to get accustomed, but then we make magic.”
Regardless of the size of the shop or kitchen he visits, Dubernard claims there is no great secret to being a wonderful baker.
“It’s about the quality of the ingredients,” he said. “Food is a matter of balance; speed is a matter of business.”
Owners Melissa Southern and John Hagerla will be featuring cupcakes, individual-sized pies, wedding cakes, gelato and more.
“We’re making sure we can do the best we can, and the product coming out is the best,” said John Hagerla, co-owner of Rails and The Sweeter Side of Rails.
The Sweeter Side of Rails, 615 E. Schreiner St., will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
For information, call 257-3877.
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