Baker Dean Brettschneider has risen through the ranks of the baking world to become an entrepreneurial star, in an industry that doesn’t typically see its representatives become quite so well known.
The professional baker and patissier is now an award-winning author, TV show judge, and the founder of a business that both sells his products and trains others to follow in his footsteps when it comes to baking excellence.
Dean’s business, Baker & Cook, is an artisan bakery chain, and he also owns Plank Sourdough Pizza based in Singapore while working on future plans to expand to London. It’s an unexpected journey around the world for a baker from New Zealand.
Dean’s grandmother was responsible for his initial interest in baking. She loved to bake scones, and as a small child Dean would help her each weekend while he stayed with her. He also lived with her for several months in his teens while on his baking apprenticeship, taking his interests to the next level.
The apprenticeship at Rangiora Bakery was tough, with 16-hour days devoted to learning his craft to a professional level, but Dean was determined. Determined enough that he went on to win New Zealand Apprentice of the Year in 1988.
Dean then went on to join industrial bakery Earnest Adams as a Test Baker, before moving to Goodman Fielder as a National Technical Support Manager in 1996, and then to Windsor Cakes.
His first book, The New Zealand Baker, was published in 1995, and with it he won the Golden Ladle Award at the World Food Media Awards – no mean feat for a first book.
His next move was to BakeMark as a Technical Account Manager in 2003, followed by establishing Baker & Spice as a public-facing bakery brand for Waga’s restaurant outlets. The brand took off and became a well-known cafe chain, Dean clearly had the golden touch.
2011 saw Dean break into TV for the first time with New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker – a move that would begin a career in the media. The establishment of bakery and foodstore Baker & Cook followed shortly after in Singapore in 2012, and Plank Sourdough Pizza opened there in 2015.
Brettschneider’s Baking & Cooking School was launched 2016 to train new professionals and ensure other young enthusiasts are as inspired by Dean as Dean was by his grandmother all those years ago.Find out more about Dean and his work at www.globalbaker.com.