Graison is the owner of Bellegarde Bakery in New Orleans and has been baking professionally for ten years. He trained at the San Francisco Baking Institute under Mac McConnell and Frank Sally. Bellegarde is a national and international leader in the fields of artisan bread and stone milling. Bellegarde bakes 6,000 loaves a week and mills thousands of pounds of flour for itself and local restaurants. Graison is also an educator and advocate for freshly stone milled flour; he has worked with public health professionals, the university system, and the private sector to teach the economic and ecological value of whole grains. He hosts dozens of artisan baking classes each year in the USA and Europe. In 2016, he wrote a Local Foods Resolution (HR 113) that passed the Louisiana Legislature 92-0. Bellegarde has been named the best bakery in Louisiana and one of the best bakeries in the South, in addition to be named one of country’s best bakeries in 2016. The bakery was featured on the cover of Food&Wine’s March 2019 issue.
(Photo Credit: Denny Culbert)
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Max Hobson graduated from The Ohio State University in 2009 and moved to New Orleans in 2013 to pursue a career as a golf professional. After developing an obsession with home baking, he decided on a new path and joined the team at Bellegarde in 2016. Max loves baking because he believes that good food has the power to connect people, and that breaking bread is a language everyone can understand.
In 2014, Aimee Helms left a career working as a costumer in the film industry to pursue her baking dreams. After making gelato and spending a year working with Chef Sue Zemanick, she came to Bellegarde, where her love for bread and milling fresh flour has only grown. Aimee finds baking bread to be a humbling experience, and while at its simplest, it is flour, water and salt, baking bread can become incredibly precise and complex when it comes to time, temperature and form. One of her favorite things about working at Bellegarde is seeing tiny wheatberries become beautiful loaves of bread. It’s a kind of euphemism for life!
From culinary student to chef to pizzaiolo and now to baker the one thing that has stayed the same for Morgan has been her desire to learn more about what good food is and now specifically what good bread is.
In 2003, Morgan graduated from the Culinary Institute of New Orleans—just weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit the city— and moved to Acadiana where she worked as a private chef. After opening a pizzeria in 2010 and developing a strong love for pizza, she moved back to New Orleans to work with Chef Alon Shaya at Domenica and Pizza Domenica. Knowing that they had much in common, Alon introduced Morgan to Graison Gill and Bellegarde Bakery. That relationship grew into a friendship and mentorship that would ultimately take Morgan from being a chef to a baker, where she has been happily living and working since.
Mollie Sciacca, Operations Manager
A native of New Orleans, Mollie Sciacca has worked in the local hospitality industry for nearly a decade. She returned to the city after finishing her degree in French at LSU. In 2017 she left her position in hotel management to work as Bellegarde’s Operations Manager. Mollie is excited to be working with and learning from the talented bakers of Bellegarde Bakery.