2018 StarChefs D.C.-Chesapeake Rising Star Baker Jonathan Bethony of Seylou Bakery

2018 StarChefs D.C.-Chesapeake Rising Star Baker Jonathan Bethony of Seylou Bakery

Seylou Bakery
926 N St NW Suite A
Washington, DC 20001
seylou.com

Photos

Before finding his calling as a baker, Jonathan Bethony pursued a career in music. But after returning from soul-searching travels in West Africa and South Asia, Bethony found creative expression and spiritual grounding in bread. He went from avid amateur to unpaid apprentice at The Burnt Toast restaurant in Boulder, Colorado—a venue where he once performed. Bethony then moved to the Bay Area, where he attended the Professional Training Program at the San Francisco Baking Institute and helped to develop bread programs for bakeries, including a local, organic whole grain-centered bread and pastry program for Good Earth Natural Foods.

Eventually, Bethony made way to Craig Ponsford, founder of bakery and baking innovation center Ponsford’s Place in San Rafael, California. Ponsford introduced him to the latest trends in whole grain baking, which prepared Bethony for his next venture as part of the Washington State University research team, where he became resident baker of The Bread Lab. For the next three years, he worked with hundreds of wheat varieties, advancing the usage, knowledge, and consumption of non-commodity whole grains.

Next, Bethony arrived at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in the Hudson Valley, where he helped Dan Barber develop an innovative whole grain bread and pastry program. He also met his future pastry chef, Charbel Abrache, and asked him to help open Seylou Bakery & Mill in Washington, D.C. Abrache agreed, and Seylou opened in the Shaw neighborhood in late 2017. With a milling room and custom wood-fired oven, Bethony continues building a local grain system for the Mid-Atlantic and produces 100 percent whole grain loaves for the bakery and some of D.C.’s best restaurants.