2019 San Francisco Rising Star Baker Chase Agee of Base Camp Bakery

2019 San Francisco Rising Star Baker Chase Agee of Base Camp Bakery

Base Camp Bakery
Oakland, CA



Chase Agee grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, where wild yeast is in the air and sourdough is sustenance. His father would whip up sourdough pancakes for breakfast and his mother showed Agee a love for the kitchen he would soon nurture himself. By his teen years, Agee was tossing dough at Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, and soon set his sights on the University of Anchorage Alaska’s culinary arts program. There, bread baking seeped into his soul.

After graduating, Agee moved to New York City (his wife’s hometown) and worked at Brooklyn Heights mainstay Colonie, beloved and not forgotten Franny’s, and developed the bread program at Governor, which succumbed to Hurricane Sandy. A move back West eventually positioned Agee as head baker of Pain Bakery in San Mateo, California. After holding the reins for one year, he was ready for his own project.

In 2018, Agee and his wife, Ayla Groom, launched Base Camp Bakery, sourcing freshly milled grains from Central Milling in Petaluma and Community Grains in Oakland. With his high hydration oat porridge, sesame-durum, whole wheat, seeded rye, and country loaves, plus baguettes and even bagels to boot, the couple are creating community in the East Bay around bread. Their basecamp is Grand Lake, Kensington, and South Berkeley farmers markets, in addition to some wholesale accounts. Agee plans to grow Base Camp toward a permanent retail spot.