I was born in Jersey City and grew up in Japan and Charleston, South Carolina. My family’s roots come from Czechoslovakia, France and England. After receiving a degree from a Japanese university in East Asian Studies and holding a series of office jobs in Tokyo and New York City, I attended the Le Cordon Bleu in Tokyo. Next I worked at a local Japanese bakery then at Club Med with a French baker. It was after a visit to San Francisco that I fell in love with sourdough bread and became determined to teach myself how to make it.
I wanted to eat the bread that I experienced in San Francisco and it was nowhere to be found in Japan in 1998. Almost all the bread in Japan at the time was was soft and white. My father’s copy of Nancy Silverton’s “Breads from La Brea Bakery,” along with a bread forum by Dan Lepard on the internet before social media existed were my two only information sources. I failed constantly at getting my sourdough bread to rise and then one day, during world cup soccer, my bread making attempt was finally successful. There were few kinds of flour in Japan suited for bread making and most are for making noodles. I spent endless hours and years alone researching to learn which Japanese flours are best for bread baking in a country where the predominate carbohydrate stable is rice not bread.
It wasn’t my ambition to have a shop but after making bread at my home and selling it at markets for over 20 years, an opportunity arose in 2017 to renovate a post war traditional Japanese house into a bakery cafe. This was the scariest thing I ever did in my life, scarier than parachuting out of a plane but opening my bakery was most thrilling adventure in my life. I wanted to open a shop to sell bread for several reasons. I want to celebrate the uniqueness of Japanese ingredients through my artisan baking. I want to step up my responsibility in helping my community eat the healthiest baked items to nourish their bodies to stay healthy. Furthermore, I believe we should make our own personal everyday food habits as organic and ecological as possible. It’s my passion to make bread.
Shop Location and Hours
1156-10 Oiso, Oiso-machi, Naka-gun, Kanagawa, Japan 255-0003
Hours: Thursday-Friday 10-6, Saturday-Sunday 9-4
Tel & Fax 0463-74-6499
Copyright Lee’s Bread – All rights reserved