William Werner is Chef/Partner of Craftsman and Wolves (CAW), an award-winning
contemporary patisserie and cafe with a nod to classic French technique and an
emphasis on seasonal change, offering pastries, cakes, confections, confitures, breads,
desserts, as well as savory fare and signature drinks. Current locations include CAW
Valencia in the vibrant Mission district of San Francisco, a farmers’ market stand at the
venerable CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and an online retail shop shipping
Since opening the first location in 2012, Werner has garnered praise both locally and
nationally in publications, including New York Times T magazine, Wall Street Journal,
Real Simple, Esquire, and Bon Appétit, and GQ magazine named his famous “Rebel
Within” as #6 on “The 50 Best Things to Eat and Drink Right Now.”
In addition to opening a second location in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood
this fall, William and team are expanding the online retail shop with new products to ship
both nationally and internationally. Werner serves as a Valrhona Pastry Chef Consultant and leads professional culinary
demonstrations and classes around the U.S. and Canada.
Chef Werner is a James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Baker” 2015 finalist, Dessert Professional’s “Top Ten Pastry Chefs of America 2015,” The Passion Company’s “2015 Most Passionate Chef/Restaurateur in San Francisco,” San Francisco Magazine’s “2014 Best Pastry Chef,” Plate Magazine’s “2014 30 Chefs to Watch,” Star Chefs’ “2013 Rising Star Artisan” and James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Pastry Chef” 2012-2014 semi-finalist.
Congratulations Chef Werner on being our Chef of the Month for December!
1. Where do you work and where are you based?
Craftsman and Wolves, a patisserie and cafe with two locations in San Francisco.
2. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces?
Gray Kunz spoon
3. What is your Wisk Hand? Left or Right?
4. What advice would you offer for aspiring pastry chefs?
Dig deep to the roots, don’t get caught up in the current trend, take time to understand the basics.
5. What is one tip every pastry chef should know and perfect?
How to work with chocolate.
6. What does a great dessert look like to you?
I believe you eat with your eyes first, so an appetizing dish is key, usually minimal wins for me, all ingredients on the plate are harmonious and make sense, nothing is there just to be there.
7. Favorite ingredient to work with?
8. Favorite Dessert City?
9. Best Dish you have ever made?
Braised beef cheek risotto on a camp stove
10. What trends do you see emerging in the near future for Pastry Chefs?
I see more health conscious desserts that don’t sacrifice flavor and texture — luxurious meets beneficial, if you will.
11. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)
Short sleeved chef coats are my favorite, only one breast pocket, and definitely fitted. I’m not a fan of pen holders on the sleeve.
12. What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?
Vintage Metallica t shirt, jeans and full bib apron.