Alain Coumont is a Belgian chef and restaurateur, and founder of Le Pain Quotidien. Coumont is the son and grandson of grocers. His grandmother ran a hotel in front of the train station in Huy, Belgium. As a child in Belgium, Coumont spent countless hours perched on a chair, watching his grandmother make bread. Then, in 1977, after a voyage to the United States, where he was impressed by the success of Michel Guérard, he abandoned his classical studies and enrolled in the Hotel School of Namur in Belgium. After graduating, Coumont worked in a number of highly regarded restaurants including Michel Guérard, Georges Blanc, and Joel Robuchon. However, as a young chef in Brussels, Coumont could not find the right bread for his restaurant. Passionate about quality, he returned to his roots and opened a small bakery where he could knead flour, salt and water into the rustic loaves of his childhood. Today, Le Pain Quotidien has grown into an international chain operating in many countries around the globe. It sells organic bread and cakes in a homey, rustic style, focusing on their communal table and their simple, elegant boulangerie fare. Learn more from the founder of such an impactful chain in this week’s special episode of Evolutionaries! This program has been sponsored by GreatBrewers.com.
“In people’s minds bread was cheap. When bread regulation came, people came to see the “100 dollar” loaf. It helped the business and it was a fair price.” [14:10]
— Alain Coumont on Evolutionaries