MEILLEUR OUVRIER DE FRANCE
CHEVALIER DE L’ORDRE DU MERITE AGRICOLE
"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."
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.
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, MOF" 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, MOF in the boulangerie category from late French President François Mitterand in 1990. Dominique returned to Portland the following year, and opened St. Honoré Boulangerie in December 2003.
In May 2016, Dominique was selected by The French National Minister of Agriculture to receive the status of Chevalier (Knight) in the Order of Agricultural Merit. This order of merit was established in 1883 to recognize distinguished service in the area of agriculture. Contemporary winners in this order of merit include Jacques Pépin, Kermit Lynch and Caroline, Princess of Hanover. He also received an award in the Leadership category in the French-American Business Awards of the Pacific Northwest.
Saint Honoré: Our Patron Saint of Bakers
St. Honoré Boulangerie is named for the patron saint of bakers, Saint Honoré. As tradition goes, a young man named Honoré became the Bishop of Amiens in 554. During his service a number of miraculous events occurred, which spared farmers, millers, and bakers from natural disasters. Residents of France connected the miracles with Bishop Honoré and in 1204 a Parisian baker built a chapel to commemorate him. Today, the chapel is no longer standing, but the name, Saint Honoré, is etched in a gate leading to Faubourg and Rue Saint Honoré in the heart of Paris.
Make sure you look for our own statue of Saint Honoré perched next to our claybrick bread oven.