Berkshire Mountain Bakery Pizza Café
French toast from sourdough chocolate bread, with local maple syrup — cherry pecan French toast with sweetened goat cheese and honey … imagine the possibilities. Aura Whitman, former owner of Café Reva, has joined forces with Berkshire Mountain Bakery’s pizzeria and café — and they are forces of nature.
“I’m very excited to be here,” she said, taking a short break on a sunny morning. “People have been asking for the last couple of years if I would do this again.”
Whitman ran a longtime Pittsfield gathering place, Café Reva, on Tyler Street for more than a decade, and then became chef of her own nAtURAlly catering at Berkshire Organics. In 2018, she became partners at the Elm Street café with Richard Bourdon, baker and owner of Berkshire Mountain Bakery in Housatonic.
In her hands, the Elm Street café has broadened menu for lunch and Whitman’s breakfasts: huevos rancheros, polenta with poached portobello mushrooms, omelettes and sandwiches, vegetarian and vegan tofu scrambles.
Richard Bourdon Bourdon has run the Berkshire Mountain Bakery in Housatonic since 1986, and has made a name for himself far beyond the old brick paper mill where he makes his headquarters. (Bon Appetit named Berkshire Mountain among its top 10 bakeries in the country in 2011.) He expanded into Pittsfield several years ago and approached local chef Aura Whitman to work with him in 2018.
Whitman values his approach to food, she says, his attention to the ways people choose to eat, to high-quality ingredients and the knowledge and skill in preparing them. She has known him for 20 years or more, and she has used his sourdough breads in all her ventures — rolls, loaves, flatbreads, croissants, brioche.
Chef Aura Whitman and Richard Bourdon are keeping all the highlights from Berkshire Mountain Bakery, she says, especially the pizza specials, and adding old favorites from Café Reva. Along with the menu, they have expanded their space into a new seating area. Bourdon made the tables with wood from his own property, and they went looking for comfortable chairs.
But chiefly they focus on quality ingredients: serious bacon and organic ketchup, local produce, meats, dairy and eggs. She is working with local farms, she says, and down the road Bourdon plans to grow vegetables on his own land.