William Werner has spent time at Quince and the Ritz Carlton, serving as a pastry chef extraordinaire at both spots. Now, he has a spot of his own, opening Craftsman & Wolves in the Mission District.
“It’s just so much different having my own place. When you’re part of a restaurant team, there may be some ingredients that the chef is not interested in. Or he may not like one of the creations you make; it just might not fit the direction of the restaurant and the menu,” Werner said. “Now, I can do what I want to do, make the desserts and pastries that I’m interested in making and have fun with it.”
One look at the menu Werner has created and it’s easy to see the creativity he was talking about. Like any great pastry chef, he doesn’t only include sweet, he mixes in savory as well. That’s best exemplified by his two most popular creations, The Rebel Within and The Devil Inside. The Rebel Within may look like a fairly normal breakfast muffin but looks can be deceiving. The cheese-based batter and sausage are just the beginning as in the middle is a wonderful poached egg that is just oozing yolk. Just unreal! Unfortunately, The Devil Inside will not be with us much longer because it has foie gras as one of its ingredients, something that Werner “has wanted to work with for awhile now.” Foie gras, chocolate-toffee ganche, chocolate frosting, just pure decadence.
Those aren’t the only pastries that fill the beautiful display each morning. “It’s funny because when we opened, I wanted to keep The Devil Inside and the eclairs off the shelves until midday. But people would come in asking for it when we opened,” Werner said. “But we’ve got a lot of other fun stuff like the passion sesame croissant, the pain au cochon and the chocolate croissant stack. A customer came in and got the blueberry muffin and told me, that’s the most blueberries I’ve ever had in a muffin and my reaction was, Yes! That’s exactly what I was going for.”
Coffee and tea are also available as are savory bites like salmon rilletes and savory madeleines, country pâté, pickles and toasted levain, sandwiches and an assortment of smaller bites. Werner is also offering cube cakes, which are available whole and by the bar.
The space fits Werner’s style, modern and sleek in its design and right in the heart of the food boom on Valencia Street. “I think it really fits the neighborhood perfectly. I live nearby and there are so many different types of restaurants and eateries in the area. This just offers something unique for the Mission.”
Craftsman and Wolves is located at 746 Valencia Street. Hours are Monday-Friday from 7 am – 8 pm, Saturday from 8-8 and Sunday from 8-5.