Top to Bottom is quick-fire interview series where we show off our cutest friends in the world of food.
Gus Reckel is a flirt... I think. It’s hard to tell. He teases hard, gets your goat and delivers every joke with a face as straight as a ruler, so it's best not to take him too seriously. Gus is the quintessential otter: lean, lovable, sufficiently kinky, plus he grows a beard that would probably make your dad cry. You can catch him at Folsom Street Fair, Full Fetish Recon, or our personal favorite, in the basement of his new bakery in a button down and apron.
Gus will officially open his highly anticipated bakery, L’imprimerie, in the heart of Bushwick, Brooklyn on Monday, June 1st- and we couldn't be happier. In tandem with Bushwick’s ever-growing gay population and culture scene, the north Brooklyn neighborhood is home to an increasing amount of rad eating and drinking establishments; Gus’ baking endeavor ranking high on the list.
We caught up with Gus to get the details on who he is, what he’s baking and what to expect from L’imprimerie.
Where are you from?
I was born in France in the North East then moved to Zurich, Paris and London before eventually coming to NYC 3 years ago. I tend to say I am not very French, but my friends usually object (especially when I keep supporting France during Eurovision).
What are you working on now?
L’imprimerie is opening in a week now and we are far from ready. I am working on adjusting and developing our bread and pastries recipes with new flours (we want them local and organic), new climate, new oven, new mixer and new place. So that’s going to be a rough and bouncy ride. But who does’t like that, really?
What made you want to bake?
I have always been a morning person; up early, down early, and I love bread. It kind of felt natural to bake and to be on a baker’s schedule. Bread also has this power to bring people together and to get them excited (it’s like Scruff!). And if you have ever kneaded bread, there is nothing more beautiful than dough: the smell, the shine, the elasticity and the texture. Giving then birth to bread with its sound, smell and taste, you can’t beat that.
Why NYC, Brooklyn and Bushwick?
NYC for the light. NYC’s light is amazing- the sky is crystal clear, the sun is beautiful, even in February. 7am, the sun is going up, it’s cold, but it’s bright. Brooklyn because I can’t deal with the city- too many people, too much noise. Brooklyn brings me some balance. It’s not upstate, but it’s a good compromise. Bushwick because lots of my friends are here too so I used to keep biking from Prospect Heights to Bushwick and back. When we found the space for the bakery (originally a bakery with a coal oven that became a print shop that remained untouched for the last 60 years), we knew this was the right place. The tin tiles are all original and the building came with 2 vaulted caves in the basement- we kept one for fermenting the dough and the other one, well, you know what for…