When someone is called Anthony Fahy, it’s more than a little surprising to hear him speak in a charming French accent. Slim, dark Anthony is the manager of The Bakeshop at Lyon’s Cafe in Sligo. He hails from a little town called St. Martin-en-Haute, near Lyons in the beautiful Rhone Valley, famed the world over for gastronomic delights like Beaujolais, cheeses and the boudin noir – better known as black pudding in this neck of the woods.
Baking has been Anthony’s passion since a very early age and he left school early to begin a 2 year apprenticeship which led to a CAP certificate in baking, and another as a pastry chef. Still hungry for knowledge he went on to college in Lyon to achieve his professional higher degree qualification. One of his mentors, Master Baker Patrick Ferrand, who was crowned best baker in all of France, had a huge influence on the young Anthony.
Anthony is absolutely passionate about bread production and loves experimenting with flavours and styles. He is very loyal to his native French cuisine and enjoys creating typical French products to introduce to people in Sligo. Sourdough is a particular favourite and although he does make Irish soda bread, he admits it’s not as technically challenging as he likes! He’s always open to suggestions and takes on board ideas from the other seven members of the Bakeshop team.
En route to Ireland, Anthony worked in Lyon, Germany, London, Glasgow, Belfast and Newcastle. He gained experience in many aspects of baking, including stints with French Christmas Markets. He has always been drawn to Ireland, partly due to the Fahy name which does hail from the Emerald Isle according to family lore.
He really loves Sligo where he has been for the last two years initially as Kitchen Confectionary Manager in The Bakeshop, before advancing to his current role. He admits the weather is a bit less clement than in France and interestingly has discovered this has an impact on bread production. When it is raining or damp outside, Anthony finds he needs to compensate by increasing the baking time for his breads. Conversely, warm dry weather, demands less time in the oven for the dough to rise and for the crust to be just as Anthony wants it.
Anthony is a big fan of Irish culture and loves to explore the northwest and beyond when he has time. He’s also a keen soccer player and uses this to keep fit. His parents and two brothers enjoy visiting and he’s toured around areas like the Giant’s Causeway with them, introducing them to his new country.
The origins of his very Irish sounding surname still remain a mystery. Anthony has been too busy baking up a storm in Sligo to do that digging into his ancestry. Who knows what stories might emerge. #SligoFoodTrail