LIMA — John Gillett was proud. Exhausted, but happy.He recently constructed a four-foot tall Eiffel Tower made entirely of bread for a catering event with an all-French theme. Gillett, the baker at the Old Barn Out Back, took a break from his usual cookies and cinnamon rolls — and all the other goodies that show up on that restaurant's dessert buffet — to focus on the tower.The client came in with photos of an Eiffel Tower made of bread. “This is a first,” Gillett said. “Bakers have egos and we don't want to be outdone.”So Gillett started thinking how he would make the tower bigger and better, the best he could do. He was in the planning stages for about a week, weighing options and deciding how he would construct such a centerpiece. One key detail: It didn't have to be edible. It was strictly for show.Gillett has been at Old Barn Out Back for two years. Originally from Bluffton, he spent many years in New England and has only recently returned to the area. But baking has been one constant in his life. His father, David, owned Gillett's Pastry Shop in Bluffton and he grew up there.“I've been baking my whole life,” Gillett said. “I was born baking.”As a very young child, he was offered a penny for every bakery box he folded for his father. It wasn't about the work. It was more about being around his dad and being around the bakery shop. His father, now retired, lives in Indianapolis.“When I get stuck, he's still my go-to,” he said.As Gillett aged, he sought a different career — architecture — but found he was a baker at heart. His favorite recipe?“It's hard to pick a favorite,” he said. “It's like who's your favorite kid. I don't have one.”The process is his favorite part.“Developing new recipes and getting the positive feedback from the customer” is what he lives for, he said.The Eiffel Tower of bread was a huge challenge — and he learned much along the way. Here's a breakdown of the process:• Gillett considered the design for about a week before beginning.• He decided French bread would work best. It goes with the theme of the party, for starters, but it's a strong bread. • He made 12 braided loaves for the tower. Four were curved on the baking sheet to form the tower's “feet.” The tower also has horizontal girders, so he made three bread baskets for those. He used square cake pans, baking the bread by flipping over the pan and draping the dough over. • Another restaurant worker set to making a base. The plywood had small trim board acting as cleats for the feet. They needed to be held at a certain distance. The weight of the tower would cause the feet to continue to spread apart and eventually fail.• Assembly was nerve-wracking. The curved loaves at the bottom were supported behind by coat hangers glued on for strength. Workers assembled it from the base up, using hot glue and toothpicks. As it was going up, the weight shifted a bit and put a small twist in the tower.• Why is it shiny? It's been painted with shellac, to seal it and make it even harder.“I want to stay here and work all night, make more bread and do it all over again, but there's no way,” Gillett said. “I'm going home to bed. I gotta be back in six hours.”Reached after the event, Gillett was very pleased.“It was a big hit. Everybody wanted their picture taken with the tower,” he said.