The bun on that famous H&F cheeseburger? The bread for that banner cheesesteak at Fred’s Meat & Bread? You can thank Rob Alexander for both—and a whole lot more. Alexander currently oversees bread production for the General Muir, its sister restaurants (Yalla, Fred’s Meat & Bread, West Egg), and a growing number of wholesale clients. In February, the General Muir expanded next door with TGM Bread, a 2,000-square-foot production space for the thousands of loaves he and his team pull out of the ovens each day. [Editor’s Note: As of June 6, 2016, Alexander is no longer with the General Muir]
Since 2008, some of our favorite sandwiches and burgers have been served on bread baked by Rob Alexander.
H&F Bread Co.
2008 to 2012
At 20 years old, after discovering baker Daniel Leader’s book Bread Alone, Alexander decided to get into the kitchen. “I was charmed by the story,” he says. He trained in bakeries from North Carolina to the French Rhône-Alpes, then joined Linton Hopkins in 2008. He developed 150 recipes for H&F Bread Co., which supplies dozens of restaurants today.
Clockwise from top left:
Southern Sandwich Loaf (Grilled cheese at Yeah! Burger), Pain de Mie Hamburger Bun (H&F cheeseburger, double stack at Bocado), Pain au Levain Bâtard (Pintxos at Cooks & Soldiers), Hot Dog Bun (Lobster roll at Octopus Bar, Frankly Hot Dogs), French Baguette (Bread service at Bones)
The General Muir
2014 to 2016
Alexander was ready to develop another bread program when chef Todd Ginsberg, who had opened the General Muir the year before, called asking about which type of rye flour he should use in what would become the city’s best corned beef sandwich. Soon after Alexander joined Ginsberg to become the restaurant’s head baker.
Clockwise from top left:
Pita (Shawarma at Yalla), Hamburger Bun (Double burger stack at the General Muir; Bacon cheeseburger at Fred’s Meat & Bread), Rye (Pastrami sandwich at the General Muir), Krog Street Sub (‘Shroom Shire Cheesteak at Fred’s Meat & Bread), Sesame Bread (Spiedie at Ticonderoga Club), Cibatta (Roasted turkey sandwich at the General Muir)
Photography credits: Bread, Alexander: Todd Burandt; Cooks & Soldiers: Heidi Geldhauser; Frankly Hot Dogs: Evan Mah; H&F: Courtesy of H&F; Spiedie: Courtesy of Ticonderoga/Mia Yakel; Fred’s Meat & Bread: LuAnne DeMeo; General Muir: Greg Dupree; Yalla: Caroline C. Kilgore
This article originally appeared in our May 2016 issue.