About the author
Dubbed the "Da Vinci Baker" by the national media,
Stephen Lanzalotta, master woodworker, painter, musician,
baker and chef, is himself something of a Renaissance man.
He has appeared on NBC's Today, CBS Evening News, ABC
Nightly News, CNN's American Morning, and FOX News to
discuss his diet plan; and his story has been featured in
hundreds of international publications and on radio shows
from Tokyo and Calcutta to Brazil and Saskatchewan.
Yankee Magazine dubs him the "legendary baker of mid-coast
Maine," Port City Life has written that he is "the paragon
of artisanal bakers,” and the Library of Congress National
Register's Who's Who establishes him as an "honored
professional and lifetime member."
"You don't want to be the
best of the best,
you want to be the only one who does what you do."
-- Jerry Garcia
I was born in New London, Connecticut in 1959. When I was
a child, my dad built our house. I helped. I bent nails and
lost his tools, and slept with a hammer like other kids
cuddled with a teddy bear. By the time I entered grade
school I could toenail studs in a framewall and measure and
cut compound mitres with a 16-point crosscut saw.
As I grew older I puzzled over a discrepancy in the house's
geometry, a place where the outside dimensions differed from
the inside divisions. Then one day I faked being sick so I
could stay home from school, and while my parents were at
work I took hammer and saw to a wall inside the closet near
the staircase... and broke through!
I claimed the unfinished triangular space concealed beneath
the rafters for my secret hideout and sealed it with a
hidden panel. This nook was my childhood pentemychos (see Golden Ratio Math), ancient Greek for gateway to the
future and realms beyond... the best part was that through
the stairwall I could still hear mom's call for supper!
I continued building and designing using golden ratio
math, eventually parting from collegiate study in
microbiology and biochemistry to become a master tradesman
in architectural restoration, ergonomic tools and
furnishings, and woodcarving.
When I first moved to Maine, I exchanged woodworking
knowledge for my neighbor, Stan Joseph’s, breadmaking tips.
The earliest loaves were ashcakes buried in an open outdoor
firepit burning the boughs from the timber I cut into
floorboards and other material for our house.
Later I used golden math to construct a seven-ton brick oven
and to develop more than 60 recipes for international
breads. I still sell versions of the
bread I learned to make
from my neighbor Stan.
In 2003, with the enormous popularity of Dan Brown's The Da
Vinci Code, I started to advertise the fact that I had been
utilizing Golden numbers for decades. Named after the Greek
word for wisdom – Sophia -- my present bakery offers more
than bread, however.
It's a gallery for oil paintings structured by the same
"sacred geometry", the most celebrated public art library in
town, a forum for lifestyle talks balancing commerce and
creativity, and a sanctuary steeped in old-world ambience.
My originally designed "Da Vinci Plates" -- extending the
properties of golden
ratio math beyond art, architecture, and
baking into broader nutritional principles -- have now
become standards: The Diet Code Meals.
The I Ching states "man achieves the height of wisdom when
all he does is as self-evident as what Nature does." I'm not
a doctor or clinician. My degree is the tradesman's
accumulation of day-to day doing.
I'm a craftsman of wholesome foods that move people.
Medical student John Littel penned in the bakery guest book,
"I found Sophia's... searching for places to study for my
medical board exams... it was the food that captured me...
and made me a regular. This is food that should be
distributed among us like heirlooms to remind us of our
co-evolution with vegetables and grains and BREAD, food that
could heal our broken, weird relationship with the things we