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About Zoe Francois
The past several years have been spent chasing my two very active children around and writing Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day . Long before I had children or wrote books, I studied art at the University of Vermont. While doing my art I started a cookie company as a way to earn extra money, and my passion for baking was born. I baked outrageous gourmet cookies in my boyfriend Graham's apartment, sold them from a beautiful vending cart he made me and established a few wholesale accounts.
Eventually I graduated with a degree in art and I married Graham. We traveled through Europe eating pastries for our honeymoon and then finally settled in Minnesota. I worked in a couple of kitchens but decided I needed more formal training and headed off to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York. Since then I've been a pastry chef at several Twin Cities' restaurants. I got to work with some of the finest talent this town has seen including Andrew Zimmern. I was doing what I loved and Rick Nelson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune even called my desserts "endlessly delicious... the best in town... appealing, inventive and flat-out gorgeous..."
I began teaching others baking at a local cooking school in 1997 and eventually created the Zoe Bakes website in order to share my passion for pastry. I use photos to show step by step instructions on how to create wonderful desserts at home; everything from cookies to wedding cakes.
I met Jeff Hertzberg while at a children's music class with our youngest kids. We became friends and quickly realized that we shared a common obsession with baking. While I was at culinary school learning the traditional methods of bread baking, he was deconstructing all of those techniques at home. When I tried his method I was blown away and immediately recognized the potential and importance of what he was doing. Together we came up with recipes that anyone, experienced bakers and novices, could create quickly and easily. We wrote our first book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and it became a bestseller, getting rave reviews in the New York Times, Associated Press, other media all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. Jeff and I wrote Healthy Bread In Five Minutes a Day, after readers from our website Artisan Bread in Five requested to see the same super-fast method adapted to healthier ingredients like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and even gluten-free ingredients.
I live in Minneapolis with my husband Graham and two sons, my best creations yet!