In the quest to create gluten-free, vegan and whole-grain desserts, innovators are rethinking the way we bake with ingenious new methods and ingredients.
Sweet Bar (Oakland, California)
Mani Niall has been experimenting with new ways to bake since the '80s, back when he worked as a private chef for Michael Jackson and William Shatner (during the actor's wheat-free period). In 1989, he opened Mani's Bakery in Los Angeles, among the first places in the country to offer vegan and gluten-free sweets. Back then he was on the fringe; today, with his new Sweet Bar Bakery in Oakland and new book, Good Morning Baking, he is firmly in the mainstream. At Sweet Bar, his signs for the display cases indicate the flour, sugar and fat source of every item. But he's no zealot—he even offers a killer pulled-pork sandwich on crusty French bread. "I've never been a nutritionist; I'm not on any bandwagon," he says. "I just want to make good food." sweetbarbakery.com