We are thrilled to announce that after many months baking from a home oven, we have found a space! The Elephantine Bakery, serving fine breads and pastries inspired by the Mediterranean, is coming soon to our new home at 10 Commercial Alley #2 in downtown Portsmouth. The bakery is named after Elephantine Island in the Nile River, where an ancient Egyptian bakery was excavated. The trade of grain, much of which originated in Ancient Egypt, profoundly shaped the history, development, and culture of the Mediterranean region. We are still connected to these events and places through the bread we eat today. We bake using traditional artisanal techniques and are inspired by the taste and spirit of the diverse and dynamic countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Open date and details soon! We are so eager to welcome you to our new space.
It's simple really: I'm passionate about baking bread.
I’m Sherif, a small-town kid from the New Hampshire Seacoast. The son of immigrants, I grew up in the study-hard, get a good job, and save money ethos, which gratefully made me responsible and pragmatic, but also risk averse. After years of this pragmatism, I ended up in the kind of corporate job many MBA students dream of. In New York City, nonetheless. Life looked great on the outside, but I knew something was off inside. Despite whatever professional success I was having, I found myself feeling less and less connected personally to who I was and what I wanted to be—passionate and inspired in life.
In October 2016, I took an extended vacation to take stock of it all. A hobby baker, I ended up taking a week-long baking class in Paris. At the end of it, I was so happy, I couldn’t imagine never putting on my chef’s whites again. I learned of a immersive program starting in February, and knew it was time to follow my heart. I went back to the US, quit the fancy corporate gig, gave up the airline and hotel status, and I’ve been covered in flour ever since—and never happier. While in Paris, I studied the art of French baking under the award-winning baker Didier Chaput and trained afterwards at a Parisian boulangerie.
I've returned home after 6 months in Paris to the Seacoast, where I bake scratch-made bread and pastries daily using local and seasonal ingredients when possible. I believe good bread is an experience, one that should be enjoyed, soaked in, and remembered.
We hope to share this experience with you soon.
Sherif and Nadine
e. firstname.lastname@example.org p. 617.752.2443