Posts By: Dana Cree

Fruit Puree

Fruit purees, bright viscous liquid fruits, are a staple in a pastry kitchen. They are the base for sauces, ice creams, panna cottas, fluid gels, mousses, and glazes. Most home cooks, even those that collect the cookbooks of restaurant pastry chefs, will be unfamiliar with the kinds of purees stocked in the pastry kitchen. Recipes,… Read more »

Creative Obligation

I’m doing something really mean to my staff this week. I’m taking away all their mingardise recipes. Not to test their memorization skills, or make their jobs unduly difficult. I’m forcing creativity. One of the tenants of my department is creative obligation. I’ve noticed that when creative participation is a privilege, an option, it’s often… Read more »

peanut buttery hypocrisy

I share recipes. All of them. It’s one of the deepest arteries of our pastry kitchen at Blackbird, pumping fiercely through our body of work. It started the day Heston Blumenthal opened his recipe book to me as a young stage, a stark contrast to the restaurant I had come from, one that wrote recipes… Read more »

just stick it in your mouth

There are very few moments when I will sit down and eat dessert just for the sake of it. It seems counter intuitive, a pastry chef who doesn’t eat dessert. It’s not that I don’t like desserts, I do! But day after day after day of mixing, tasting, baking, tasting, freezing, tasting, blending, tasting, testing,… Read more »

Rhubarb sorbet, then and now

A rhubarb sorbet made today took my thoughts back 10 years to the first menu I had creative control over. I had just started my tenure as pastry chef at a wine bar named Eva, a small farm-to-table restaurant in a tiny seattle neighborhood called Tangletown. I’d grown up visiting the little pocket of dead-ending… Read more »

On being a female chef

I’ve been receiving a lot of media attention lately. You see, I’ve been nominated for a James Beard award in the outstanding pastry chef category. It’s an incredible honor, and one that has brought a lot of attention to my department at Blackbird, and me as a chef. More specifically, it’s brought a lot of… Read more »

Blackbird Crepes

I have been the pastry chef of Blackbird restaurant for almost 3 years now. A respectable tenure by all means, but one that comes at the end of a long line of pastry chefs. It’s an interesting roll to take on, a custodial position in an established restaurant that hasn’t always belonged to you, one… Read more »

Warm Chocolate Purse

The pastry department at Blackbird, with all it’s nuances and challenges is structurally straightforward. Our menu invites guests to dine with an appetizer, entree, and dessert, and our pastry kitchen is staffed with a traditional chef, sous chef, and line cooks who both create and plate our desserts, controlling the experience from start to finish…. Read more »

Profiteroles

I’m not sure I look up to anyone in this industry quite like Sherry Yard. When our paths crossed, I was at a point in my career where leadership was becoming a skill I wanted to cultivate in myself. When I looked at the people in leadership positions through out my time in kitchens, many… Read more »

Mille Feuille

One of the most striking desserts I’ve had this year came from a place I had only considered for their decadent burger, a good beer and a bourbon, or if it’s late enough the over sized platter of chilequilles. This restaurant, a poorly lit dive with reel to reel music is commonly full of chefs… Read more »