NO ONE likes getting up early on these dark, cold mornings but while many of us are pressing the snooze button, a hotel baker is already halfway through his working day.
Barry Littler starts work at 3.30am as the in-house baker at the city’s Chester Grosvenor hotel.
Boddingtons beer, walnuts and mashed potato are just some of the ingredients which the veteran baker includes in his loaves.
Barry, of Newton, has worked at the five-star hotel for 16 years.
The 49-year-old father-of-two works from Tuesday to Saturday and by 5am, when most guests are still asleep, Barry is baking croissants, pain au chocolat, Danish pastries, mini muffins and bread rolls that will be served fresh from the oven at breakfast in La Brasserie restaurant and room service.
Using flour from the family-run Walk Mill in Waverton, Barry makes eight different kinds of bread every day as well as the 100-200 plain and fruit scones enjoyed in The Arkle Bar and Lounge.
He is always coming up with new varieties of bread to wow diners with and is currently working on a sourdough, which has a five-day fermentation process; beer and potato bread, made with a Boddingtons beer crust; and fig and wine bread in which dried figs are marinated in red wine and walnuts overnight.
This impressive selection and Barry’s talent has earned him a mention in the Sunday Times Food List 2012.
Executive chef Simon Radley said: “We are very lucky to have Barry because there aren’t many hotels with their own in-house baker.
“Diners often say that the bread trolley is one of the things they really love about eating at The Chester Grosvenor.
“I think that’s testament to Barry’s skill and the consistently excellent quality of the bread he makes.”