Posts By: Dana Cree

Waffling

It took a brunch baby shower at Avec and the guests request for an off-menu item to be served for me to see it. As I rounded up the requisite iron and discussed recipes, a hidden passion in my pastry cook came bubbling to the surface. Turns out, Amy McCudden loves making waffles. It may… Read more »

Craftsman and Cooks

With the flow of younger cooks in and out of the restaurants I work at, I hear snippets of conversations here and there often describing dreams for the future, and the chefs they want to be. Not in a lofty sense, actual names of the chefs they admire most and hope to grow into. These… Read more »

Found In Translation

The only thing constant about Blackbird is that it is in constant flux. The restaurant, founded to house the cuisine of Paul Kahan 16 years ago, was eventually released from his tenure as chef de cuisine, and transformed into a guided creative platform for younger talent. The reigns were first handed to Mike Sheerin who… Read more »

Molten Chocolate Cake

On the occasion I leave my restaurant for the night, or have entire days off, I can occasionally be tempted to join the greater part of society and attend a party. Years ago, on one of these such occasions, I found myself in a small circle of adults, foodies if you will, discussing my favorite… Read more »

Cracked Coconuts

We professional pastry chefs have at our fingertips access to something home cooks could never dream of. High quality fruit purees. They come to us frozen in 1 kilo containers, ready to be thawed and folded into our recipes with the simple removal of a plastic seal. Some are better than others but all in… Read more »

Hold For Service

A comment on twitter regarding the last post about posset doubted the recipe’s authenticity due to the inclusion of 2 sheets of gelatin. I can understand the doubts of the reader. The post told of a custard set entirely by acid, so what was a sheet of gelatin doing in there? It’s quite simple, and… Read more »

Adventures In Setting Cream

Crème Brulee. Pot du crème. Panna Cotta. Custard. Pudding. Pastry Cream. Yogurt. Crème Fraiche. A pastry professional spends a lifetime setting dairy. Every time we do this we are attempting one thing; to disrupt the fluidity of dairy with enough matter change it from a liquid to a solid state. Sound complicated? It’s not, I’ll bet you have watched… Read more »

Rice and Chocoalte

We’ve been playing with a lot of starchy components in the blackbird pastry kitchen these days. Specifically, potatoes, rice, and beans. It’s been an interesting venture. A savory cook makes a quick study of the pitfalls and successes of these starches, working with them in their natural state early on in their career. I won’t… Read more »

thinking about gluten and wheat

I make a strong effort to keep one, if not two (or three!) gluten free desserts on the menu at blackbird. Yes, it’s a hot topic these days, as our awareness of celiacs disease and the effects wheat and grains have on the human body grows. We in the kitchens are catching up, as those… Read more »

apples and restraint

A long time ago, in a city far away, I worked at a restaurant named Lampreia. It is the first restaurant I list on my resume, my genesis. The heart that pumped the life into this small 40 seat restaurant in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood was a man named Scott Carsberg. It was in his kitchen… Read more »