Posts By: Dana Cree

pastry cream; our very own mother sauce

If you read my last column for Lucky Peach, you should be ready to make proud, hollow cream puff shells. But what of their filling! Worry no more, the follow up to that piece discusses pastry cream, the classic companion for pate a choux. You may have seen pastry cream in a fruit tart, or… Read more »

Meet Ron!

I first started following the work of Ron Mendoza, long before I started following the work of Ron Mendoza. It’s confusing, I know. But about 3 years ago, I started coming across pictures of desserts made by the pastry chef of Aubergine. They resonated with me in a way few do, our desserts are kindred… Read more »

What to do when your chef leaves

The latest column from Chefs Feed, this one discusses what happens to those left behind when a chef leaves. I’ve left a team behind at blackbird, just as I inherited one when I arrived. Likewise, I’ve been a cook, left behind when a chef decided to move on and a new one brought a sea of change into… Read more »

Meet Danielle!

Danielle Snow walked into my life one lunch service, over a year ago. She had applied for the pastry cook position I had posted, and took it upon herself to come in and express her interest in person. It takes guts to cold call a chef, in person. It must, because I’ve rarely seen it… Read more »

How to make Pate a Choux

Hot off the presses! My latest piece at Lucky Peach discusses the earliest fundamental recipe I tackled. My first menu, at a neighborhood restaurant called Eva in Seattle almost always had a profiterole on it, hiding under seasonal fruit compotes, standing in for biscuits in a strawberry shortcake, or holding scoops of spiced pumpkin ice… Read more »

How To Laminate Dough

Partially reprinted with permission, this is my most recent piece over at Lucky Peach, How To Make Laminated Dough.  This piece covers the in’s and out’s of laminating dough, the painstaking process of folding and layering butter and dough to make impressive things like croissants and puff pastry. For the full article click the link… Read more »

Meet Leigh!

Leigh Omilinsky has been haunting the pastry departments of Chicago for the past decade, a city not far from where she grew up. From the fine dining kitchen of Tru, to the immaculate halls of Laurant Gras once great L20, Leigh is well versed in avant garde desserts. She climbed the ranks of the boutique… Read more »

Starting the conversation

The window I’ve opened here into my own kitchen experiences no longer looks into a pastry department. Instead, it looks into a fledgeling dairy, a pasture in Wisconsin with a growing herd of 36 grass munching cows, and a LOT of milk. But since we aren’t changing the name of this blog to “The Dairy… Read more »

The next chapter

I’ve recently let go of my position in the pastry department at Blackbird and Avec. No easy decision, these two restaurants have been my home away from home for the last 3 and a half years, and the people inside like family. It’s the best way to leave a restaurant, still loving and longing for… Read more »


We are in the process of rehiring for two positions between Blackbird and Avec. Part of the interview process for a cooks position is a trail, which is kind of a trial of sorts, often called a stage. This is a physical interview, in which the team hiring has a chance to see if the… Read more »