About two years ago, Michelle Pusateri, the classically trained pastry chef and founder of Nana Joe’s granola, started blending limited edition batches in collaboration with her chef friends. Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu wanted a touch of Chinese five spice. Brooke Mosley of Outerlands requested carrots, so Pusateri roasted some, then pureed them and used the mixture to coat oats. The latest version to hit shelves is the Josey Baker Adventure Blend, in partnership with everyone's favorite tattooed baker of Josey Baker Bread.
It’s about as far from high cuisine as granola can get. Inspired by Baker’s wildly popular gluten-free Adventure Bread, sold at his coffee shop and bakery The Mill, the mix includes oats, almonds, seeds, and maple syrup as well as the addition of coconut and cinnamon.
“It tastes like Honey Bunches of Oats,” Pusateri says, sitting with Baker in the office of her Dogpatch commissary.
Baker recently tested out the final product, which took about two months to perfect, on a three-day backpacking trip to the Trinity Alps. “It was like, ‘This is where this granola needs to be eaten,’” says Baker, who is known for his down-to-earth cooking style.
“It’s super important that we nail down the actual chef’s personality, what would they taste like if they were a granola,” Pusateri tells Baker. “This one is a little bit sweet, but it’s still got that heartiness that your breads have.”
Baker concurs. “A lot of the stuff we do is simple and rustic,” he says. “In my mind, this is the prototypical granola. We’re not going out in any crazy directions with the ingredients or techniques.”
“And that wouldn’t have been you anyway,” says Pusateri. “If we would have put caper dust in, like we did with [Cockscomb’s] Chris Cosentino, people would have been like….”
“I don’t know if he even knows what capers are,” Baker says with a laugh then adds quickly, “I do.”
“Yeah,” Pusateri jokes affectionately, “you forage them in Golden Gate Park.”
// Chef’s Blend: Josey Baker Adventure Blend Granola is available for $15 on nanajoes.com