Since moving to Hailey a year ago, Rebecca Bloom has made a local name for herself as a master piemaker. Aptly named Piedaho, Rebecca's company, which she co-owns with husband David Kurtz, has filled a niche in our community (and beyond as Piedaho ships around the country) for farm-fresh, sustainably sourced baked goods. Rebecca is committed to sourcing local as much as possible. She frequents fruit farmers such as Peters Family Farms and Tubbs Berry Farm to pack fruit pies full of local flavor.
How did you get to where you are today?
I have always been passionate about food, baking, cooking, all of it. It was always an intrinsic part of my childhood, cooking with my mother, sharing that special space and connection. After I graduated from Brown University, I went to cooking school at the Escoffier in France, learning classic baking and cooking techniques. I worked at a few kitchens in Los Angeles, and then decided that cooking in a restaurant/bakery kitchen was not for me. After many other careers as an author, magazine editor, jewelry designer, and, most important, mom, I was itching to get back to food. My mother and I, in an effort to preserve our family recipes, began a food blog, Square Meal Round Table, which documented our past and present adventures in the kitchen. In growing this blog, I connected to a vibrant instagram community and a collection of pie artists that really got me thinking about pie. It seemed like the ideal platform to unite my love for baking and my need to be creative.
What inspired you to bake pies professionally?
Pie was always something I loved to make, from my grandfather’s favorite pumpkin to my grandmother’s apple, I love how pie has the perfect balance sweetness as well as having this whole nostalgic vibe. After much experimenting, I came up with my own recipes. Last year, after moving with my family from Los Angeles to Idaho, we had the opportunity to launch Piedaho in December 2018.
What do you love most about it?
What I love the most about making pie is that I get to make something delicious and beautiful all at the same time. Not only do I get to have fun playing with fruit, sugar and spices, I get to express myself in an artistic and visual way. I also love that pie is meant to be shared, and that inspires connection and community.
If you could only eat one flavor of pie the rest of your life, what would it be?
Don’t make me choose one pie! Lol, I do love cherry pie but hate to make it!
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. What pie is your go-to family favorite for the holidays?
We always make pumpkin, and an apple. We are very classic, but this year we will be making our new pumpkin cream pie and the salted caramel apple that is our best seller.
What ingredients do you source locally and why?
We try to source as many products locally as we can from fruit to flour. I think that when you can see where your food is growing, your product will be that much better. Also, I know that the berries I get from Tubb’s or Peters Family Farms are picked close to when I get them and are not sitting in some cold storage somewhere. We are lucky to be surrounded by wonderful fruit orchards!
What do you love most about being an artisan pie baker small food producer?
I love being an artisan pie baker because I get to be a part of sweet and special occasions. I get to be a part of people sharing food and conversation which is something one of my food heroes, Anthony Bourdain, was really keen on. You can sit with anyone and share a bite and leave the table with a little more understanding and little more compassion.
What are your biggest challenges as a food artisan in Blaine County?
My biggest challenge will be getting creative in winter when snow is on the ground and fruit is not plentiful. We tried this season to capture and freeze as much fruit as we could and I did have someone tell me about a raisin pie they had as a child that sounds intriguing and easy for winter!
Why is it so important for our community to support local farms and ranches?
Shopping local is really about community building, if you put your dollars back into the local economy, it only helps your community grow and flourish. Also now knowing really how hard it is to produce quality fruit or meat, etc., it is even more important to support that work ethic.
Where can people find your pies?