Our Story

Magnol is the culmination of a long-envisioned and carefully planned dream. I count myself as an incredibly fortunate person. I moved to Houston as a much younger man, and this city embraced me, became my home and gave me a trade. The passion and the profession allowed me to travel around our great country and the world, to work with many talented individuals and to gain technique and inspiration in the kitchens of some truly great chefs.

Throughout this self-directed learning journey, this self-imposed exile, I fought for the right to return to Houston. I told myself I would not come home until I had earned this, by becoming the best baker that I knew.

After 10 years on the road, I made it back, and have spent every moment envisioning ways to elevate the bakery and pastry profile of the city of Houston. I knew that I could not be satisfied until I made a contribution to the home that has given me so much. I invested much thought, as well as the input from my fellow Houston chefs, into a plan to put to use the knowledge, experience, and ideas I had gathered over the years. The vision was clarified, then modified, and now, with the unwavering support of my wife and my home town, will soon be reality: Magnol French Baking.

After all my travels, I have invaluable friendships around the world. How can it be that just when it came time for Magnol to morph from dream to reality, stars aligned so that two of my most dear and respected friends were ready and available for a new challenge? I have known Matt and Tina for years; we’ve had parallel paths, pushing our individual boundaries, taking career risks, making personal sacrifices to advance our professions. We’ve all arrived at the same place: we want to provide Houstonians with the best pastry and bread, created from the finest raw materials, with the highest level of technique, consistently and reliably, from the day we open the doors. Magnol will be at once the most difficult and the most fulfilling challenge we have ever faced. As we approach this challenge head-on, I am so grateful for and humbled by the opportunity to work with the people I love, to serve the city that I love.

Bon appetit, Houston!
Chef Otto