Jim Lahey studied sculpture before learning the art of bread baking in Italy. When he returned to New York City in 1994, he opened Sullivan St Bakery in Soho with little more than the wild yeast he hand-cultivated in Italy and a desire to bring the craft of small-batch bread baking to America.
In October 2000, Lahey built the Sullivan St Bakery headquarters in Hell’s Kitchen, where he has become renowned not just for his bread, but for his Roman-style pizza, rustic Italian pastries and cookies.
Then, in 2009, he opened the doors to Co., his first pizza restaurant. Located in Chelsea, Lahey put his own spin on pizza while celebrating artisanal food culture and communal dining. The name is short for Company, a word whose Latin roots refer to the phrase “with bread,” of course.
Lahey and his businesses have been featured in Vogue, Bon Appétit and The New York Times, and he has appeared on the Martha Stewart Show and NBC’s Today show. His innovative no-knead bread recipe that ignited a worldwide home-baking revolution was first published in an article by Mark Bittman in The New York Times in 2006. This article became the basis of Lahey’s first cookbook My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method, and My Pizza: The Easy No-Knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home. Lahey expanded his footprint in New York City in July 2012 with the opening of Sullivan Street Bakery’s second outpost in Chelsea, just a few doors from Co. In 2014, My Bread was translated into Italian and Taiwanese. In 2015, Jim was the first recipient of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker.