Dana Cree

Posted October 6th, 2015 by Dana Cree & filed under Uncategorized.

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 »

Posted October 5th, 2015 by Dana Cree & filed under Uncategorized.

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 »

Posted October 3rd, 2015 by Dana Cree & filed under Uncategorized.

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 »

Posted September 28th, 2015 by Dana Cree & filed under Uncategorized.

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 »

Posted July 20th, 2015 by Dana Cree & filed under Uncategorized.

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 »

Posted June 14th, 2015 by Dana Cree & filed under Uncategorized.

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 »

Posted May 28th, 2015 by Dana Cree & filed under Uncategorized.

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 »

Posted May 7th, 2015 by Dana Cree & filed under Uncategorized.

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 »

Posted April 25th, 2015 by Dana Cree & filed under Uncategorized.

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 »

Posted April 8th, 2015 by Dana Cree & filed under Uncategorized.

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 »