Brennan’s fascination with food culture and history was catalyzed by a trip to Western Europe in 2009 to study communal brick ovens. He began baking bread soon after, baking out of his father’s own brick oven and selling at local farmers markets during his high school summers. He has a degree from Whitman College in Environmental Humanities—which for him meant exploring our culture’s relationship to food—and he has worked in restaurants and bakeries in San Francisco, Portland, and Asheville. The Walnut Schoolhouse is, for him, a way to piece together those disparate experiences, combining his curiosity in food studies with his love of hands-on cooking. This year Brennan will be teaching two classes on Sourdough Basics and another on Scandinavian Baking.