Dana Cree, former pastry chef of Blackbird and avec and James Beard Foundation nominee for her pastry prowess, rejoined the One Off Hospitality team in April as Executive Pastry Chef of The Publican and its sister establishments (Publican Quality Meats, Publican Tavern, and the soon-to-open Publican Anker).
Since coming on board Cree has been busy. She’s overhauled the dessert menu at The Publican and has added several dishes inspired by her time spent cooking and traveling through England and Europe. Among the highlights:
Bakewell Tart—Cree has adapted and updated British classics to highlight the best of local, seasonal produce—in this case cherries, by honey-roasting whole cherries and serving them warm over a delicate shortbread cookie and crumbled marzipan cake with a dollop of whipped goat cheese and slivered almonds and honey.
Bonaffee Pie—made with cajeta, chocolate cream, and pecans
Fulton Mess—currently featuring ripe blueberries and raspberries, lemon and burnt vanilla meringue
Summer Crisp—utilizing the abundance of fresh apricot and blackberries served with a homemade cinnamon basil ice cream
Dana’s Cookie Jar—inspired by the classic biscuit tins of Britain, The Publican has introduced sharable cookie jars filled with a rotating selection of homemade cookies such as chocolate chip, peanut butter cookie with sorghum syrup, matcha rice crispie treats, and her signature nutterbuddies
And speaking of ice cream, Cree has launched a new ice cream menu at The Publican featuring treats from her book Hello My Name Is Ice Cream (to be published in 2017). Currently on the Publican menu are unique flavors that are rooted in tradition and childhood favorites, such as the Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Crunch, the Caramel Popcorn Chunk (which features heirloom popcorn from a local farmer’s market), and the Black Raspberry Supreme, capitalizing on the abundance of fresh fruit from the area.
Looking ahead, Cree has some really amazing ideas for fall and winter menu items at The Publican, some of which she could easily share as a make-at-home recipe. From a traditional Gooseberry Fool, to a Whole-Braised Pineapple served with homemade vanilla ice cream, to a Pear and Brioche Pie you would die for, Dana keeps her creativity tethered to the traditions of the restaurant and its other offerings.