The big news rocking the food world today is that cult bakery Tartine has merged with fellow Bay Area artisans Blue Bottle Coffee—and will be expanding to New York, Los Angeles, and Tokyo within the next year. According to Inside Scoop, Tartine’s Chad Robertson and Blue Bottle’s founder James Freeman have known each other for more than a decade. But the idea to go into business together came about by accident last fall, when a New York media outlet interviewed Robertson about his existing plans to open a Tokyo bakery:

The story incorrectly quoted him as saying it was a collaboration with Blue Bottle. Robertson quickly wrote to Freeman to clarify the statement. Freeman, in turn, replied that there were no problems, adding that Robertson should let him know if he actually wanted to discuss the partnership possibility.

“That’s literally how the conversation started,” Robertson is quoted as saying. “That was the catalyst: a text, and a text back.” It’s as if the pairing of excellent coffee with superb baked goods was meant to be.

According to the New York Times, the Tokyo Tartine will open later this spring, followed by an L.A. location by the end of the year and a New York outpost in 2016. In the meantime, Tartine breads and pastries will start to be offered at existing Blue Bottle locations—you should be able to get canelés (small, sweet, eggy cakes) with your Gibraltar by the end of 2015, reports the Times.


A photo posted by Tartine Bakery San Francisco (@tartinebakery) on

New Yorkers and Los Angelenos are right to be amped about getting their own Tartine bakeries, but they should also be excited for the more subtle influence Chad Robertson will likely bring to their respective cities. Even when he was supposedly operating only in San Francisco, his impact has been far reaching.

Robertson is known for consulting and collaborating with other chefs. According to Eater, he has developed breads for Christian Puglisi (Relae, Copenhagen), Josh Skenes (Saison, San Francisco), Bo Bech (Geist, Copenhagen), and Mathias Dahlgren (Mathias Dahlgren, Stockholm). He helped Ivan Orkin perfect the rye noodles at Ivan Ramen. Thanks to Robertson, Danny Bowien’s Mission Chinese in New York—a Chinese restaurant—has a pizza on the menu.

“Cheese pizza, D.O.P. At Mcf nyc

A photo posted by Mission Chinese Food (@missionchinesefood) on

On his home turf, he’s designing the burger bun for Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson’s healthy fast-food concept Loco’l. Inside Scoop even credits Robertson with unwittingly introducing a new style of pizza to San Francisco. It points to Tartine’s bread dough as the inspiration for the naturally leavened, partially whole-grain pizza bases being served at PizzaHacker, Long Bridge Pizza, Del Popolo, and Josey Baker Bread. According to Inside Scoop:

It will be a decade before we’re able to assess the full influence on Robertson’s slow-rising, high-hydration, whole-grain-friendly baking methods on bread in America. Predictions are that it will be significant.

Now that he has the funding, support, and infrastructure to expand into other markets for real, don’t be surprised to find Robertson’s floury fingerprints on more and more of your meals.

[via The New York Times]