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Charlie Laudic from Public Catering Company

Charlie Laudic from Public Catering “doesn’t do gluten-free”. Colleagues describe him as consistent, reliable, passionate, and… French. He has been the Head Baker at Public Catering since the beginning. We sat down for a chat to see if we could find out the secret ingredient to those donuts.

Charlie Laudic was born in Saint-Malo France. He grew up in kitchens as his mum owned restaurants for most of his childhood. He trained as a mechanic but when the worldwide recession hit, the car industry wasn’t such a great place for a mechanic, especially in Europe. This meant a change in direction. Charlie found himself working the seasons, 6 months on the coast and the other 6 months in a ski resort. Sounds idyllic!

It was during this time he met his future wife Anne-Laure and studied and trained as a Baker. In France there are two different Bakers, ‘Bread Baker’ and “Pastry Chef’. In Charlie’s words “I don’t make cakes”. His skill set is bread and if anyone’s tried the bread at Public Catering you can see why.

With a Bakers diploma in hand, he and Anne-Laure set out on their big OE. His best friend had moved to New Plymouth so when they landed here in New Zealand it was only a matter of time before their road trip led them to visit and eventually stay. “That was 8 ½ years ago, my wife and I made a little kiwi – Marcus and are very settled in New Plymouth now”.

His sister has just been over to visit and the intricacies of teaching her the kiwi way of “yeah nah” were met with a great deal of fun. It’s easy to see that Charlie has made New Plymouth and New Zealand home. A keen fisherman often using his kayak to reel in his catch for the day, he spends his spare time gardening, fishing and hanging out with his young family.

Your favourite meal of all time? “You cannot ask a French person that! But if I had to choose it would be seafood, cooked by my mum and in France, on a platter”.

Secret Ingredient for the donuts? Laughs… “you will have to ask Jo.. here is a hint, it’s a 3 day process for the dough. That’s all I am saying”.

Listening to? RJD2, Tommy Guerrero, Beastie Boys

Watching? Stranger Things, The Black List

Reading? Cook Books, Travel Guides.

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