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.
Founded in 2013, Bellegarde has become a national and international leader in the fields of artisan bread and stone milling, baking 6,000 loaves a week and milling thousands of pounds of flour for local restaurants and retailers. Bellegarde launched its online store in 2018, expanding its reach to customers across the United States. The bakery now has plans to open its first retail location in New Orleans this summer. Bellegarde has been named the best bakery in Louisiana, the South and the country, and was recently featured on the cover of Food & Wine magazine's March 2019 “Maker’s Issue.”
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.
Photo Credit: Denny Culbert
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.
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!
Michelle was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where she first discovered a love for baking while in high school. She moved to Washington, D.C. to attend college at Georgetown University in 2013. After receiving degrees in Linguistics and Comparative Literature, Michelle moved to California in 2016 to attend pastry school at the International Culinary Center. While in California, she interned at Manresa Bread where she gained much knowledge and experience about working in a high-end bakery. Michelle had the opportunity to study abroad at Ferrandi, a pastry school in Paris, France, where she expanded her knowledge of pastry arts and began to delve into the world of bread baking. Upon returning to California, Michelle went to work in the bread department of Bouchon Bakery in Napa. In 2018 Michelle decided to move to New Orleans and began working at Bellegarde Bakery in November of that year. She has been happily learning about whole wheat, fresh milled flour, and improving on her baking ever since. Michelle is excited to continue working with the team at Bellegarde and to bring delicious bread to even more of Louisiana.
Aaron was born and raised in Bettendorf, IA. He moved to New Orleans in 2012 after earning an A.A.S. in Culinary Arts from Scott Community College. Since then, he’s worked in some of the best kitchens in New Orleans including Compere Lapin, Commander’s Palace, Sobou and Cafe Amelie. He began baking at home in 2017 and honed his skills working at La Boulangerie. He has been with Bellegarde since 2018.
Outside of work, Aaron enjoys biking, spending time with his dog Eleanore, cooking, canoeing in Bayou St. John, and telling dad jokes.