One Off Hospitality Group announced that Dana Cree will rejoin the restaurant group as the new Executive Pastry Chef of The Publican brand. Having previously helmed the sweet side of the kitchen for both Blackbird and avec, Cree is returning to OOH to oversee pastry and dessert programs for The Publican, Publican Quality Meats, Publican Tavern, and the forthcoming Wicker Park location, opening later this year.
"It's a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with One Off Hospitality again. They’ve treated me like family since the first day I came on board, inside and outside of the walls of their restaurants,” Cree says. “I'm thrilled our paths have crossed again and we can grow together."
With a book devoted to her ice cream expertise in the works, Cree naturally seeks to spotlight and elevate ice creams across the restaurants’ menus. She will implement a range of crowd-pleasing, nostalgic treats at Publican Quality Meats—from pudding cups to take-and-bake warm chocolate cakes and other frozen treats—available in both in the dining room and grab-and-go freezers. At The Publican, she will incorporate her experiences from cooking in England into the dessert program, transforming the traditional “Eton Mess,” a meringue and fruit dessert, into a playful and innovative “Fulton Mess,” highlighting the bounty of local farms—in keeping with The Publican’s brand ethos—while also offering a subtle nod toward the restaurant’s beer hall roots.
“After years of creating nuanced desserts at Blackbird, I’m excited to return to a casual dining room experience and create the kinds of craveable desserts worthy of return visits,” adds Cree.
A Seattle native, Cree began her career under the tutelage of Scott Carsberg of Lampreia before a lengthy stage at The Fat Duck in Bray, England, before returning stateside to become Pastry Chef in restaurants such as Eva, Veil and Poppy. She then traveled to Denmark to stage at Noma and take a Pastry Chef role at Kadeau. It was in 2012 that she returned to the US and joined the One Off team as Pastry Chef at Blackbird and avec for three years. During this time, she was nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2014 and 2015. Her first book, Hello My Name Is Ice Cream, will be published in spring 2017.