Anson Loyd Forum Fan
Anson Loyd is our Featured Forum Fan! The Cook’s Cook Community Forum on Facebook is a group that allows the members of our international community to interact and learn from one another. Our emphasis is on foods that professional and home cooks have prepared themselves, whether in commercial or home kitchens. We welcome photos, recipes and discussion. Each Friday our editors choose a recipe to feature on the website and social media as our #fanfriday pick of the week.
Meet the Forum Fans:
This #featuredforumfan spotlight is one in an evolving series to get to know our special member contributors.
Anson W. Loyd, our Featured Forum Fan, is a “Store Baker.” Although a relative newcomer to the Cook’s Cook Facebook Community Forum, Anson has been a Cook’s Cook fan and contributor for many years. For this spotlight, we asked Anson to talk a bit about himself and the road to his culinary career.
Anson describes himself as a “high volume production specialist kind of chef.” In his free time, he enjoys making communal dinners with a handful of close friends that results in learning better ways to cook at home.
The Early Years
Anson Loyd has been in the kitchen since he was six years old, when he learned to make pizza dough from his babysitter in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Ultimately, he served it somewhat under baked to his folks, but it was eaten completely.
His supportive family bought him a blue five-quart KitchenAid mixer for his 13th Christmas. He remembers making pumpkin cheesecake. He made his first cheese soufflé at age 14. Eventually they urged him to go into the culinary classes available at the high school level.
Back then cheesecake was his favorite. Currently, he loves multigrain bread recipes, and anything having to do with taco night– fresh tortillas, fillings, toppings, the works.
While in high school, Anson interned during a summer with Denise Landis. The Editor-in-Chief of The Cook’s Cook and author of Dinner for Eight taught him about testing recipes. He says it was an extremely “useful experience checking other people’s work.” Above all, he learned that “testing matters!”
Anson earned his BA in Culinary Arts from New England Culinary Institute, in Montpelier, Vermont where he got to meet Alton Brown at graduation. About Alton Brown he says: “Best handshake!”
Read Anson’s essay “Saved By Cooking” in Inside Culinary School: Second of Three Essays on What It’s Really Like.
Since graduating, he’s preferred employment in baking whenever possible. He says that professionally he “likes baker’s timelines versus the ticket machines on the hot line in restaurants.”
(A “baker’s timeline” is a work schedule that’s spread out versus quick fast dinner rush ticket orders that come thru the kitchen every 30 seconds, where being fast, accurate, and moving onto the next dish without falling behind is challenging.)
Anson says he learned how to “really bake” downtown at a small cafe, Popovers on the Square, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He credits his Internship Chef Jennifer Beach, saying “I owe them a lot.”
Popovers taught him the fundamentals of consistency, pan rotation, and things like using timers. “I was called Anson-Chip, because I burned the cookies. (Every job I get some kind of nickname.)”
He made popover batter by the five-gallon bucket. “They sold like HOT CAKES.” He learned there how to develop his customer service skills.
He returned to Portsmouth after 12 years away, to work as the Store Baker in a new Whole Foods Market. “It’s nice serving my community again. A coming full circle feeling.”
At the Whole Foods Market, this “Featured Forum Fan ” oversees and manages bread production — from training, to mixing, to baking, and overall quality control. His job includes discussing the menu with customers, and choosing dinner pairings, such as wine and cheese.
“I enjoy our European customers the most. Their bread enthusiasm sets the standard.
And, if they say ‘Just like back home’ it’s a great compliment.”
Right now Anson is just trying to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic. The industry is hurting and Anson says he is “just trying to stay in control of what’s currently on my plate.”
Eventually he would like to step out of the kitchen, maybe go into food sales. Anton has a way with words in person, and he is a great salesman. Anson says: