A new pastry chef is stepping in full time at Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie in Uptown.
No, owner and executive pastry chef Andrea Meyer isn’t going anywhere, but she’s adding another full-time expert to her staff, Sarah Green.
"She’s an absolute professional but remains approachable and open to innovation," Meyer says. "I could not ask for a better right hand."
Green feels the same way.
“I’m very excited — very, very excited,” Green says. “It just makes sense; it’s one of those things that's really a no-brainer.”
It's not a brand-new partnership. Green has been helping in the Bisous kitchen since last summer.
It was about that time that Green had left a full-time job to pursue her own company, Pirate Cookies, and she was calling a number of people in the pastry industry.
“She was one of the people I reached out to, and apparently the day that I messaged her — which basically was a, ‘We’ve never met, I don’t know why, we should catch up and meet each other' — was just shortly after she found out she was going to have her spinal surgery,” Green says.
Somewhat ironically, Brian Luscher, chef of the Grape Restaurant, had reached out to Meyer, mentioning Green was looking for more work. So, it made sense for the two to get together.
“We met immediately and, I like to say, it was love at first sight: She needed someone who could come in and be around, but she was not company-wise in the position to hire a full-time pastry chef,” Green says. “I needed a place to bake out of, so we formulated this crazy plan: For me getting to use her kitchen space to get my company off the ground, I would make myself available a few hours a week to support her team as needed.”
It was a system that worked well for the both of them. As Meyer says, it was a real opportunity for the two to support each other during that time.
"There have been many times since then that I’ve had such a true gratitude for all she does for me and Bisous and the team, only to find out she feels the same way," Meyer says.
They worked this way for a while, changing the schedules as Meyer was in the kitchen more and more at the start of the year. At that point, Green was already accustomed to working with Meyer’s team.
“Andrea clearly is one of the most talented chefs I’ve ever worked with and so organized and so passionate and had built this amazing team and program that was running without her being present,” Green says. “I just got to come in and 'Band-Aid' little things together.”
She worked through the Bisous holiday experience — which she makes sound utterly delightful — and learned plenty along the way.
“I got to do a lot of new things. I’ve always hated cakes and that is something that being at Bisous broke (in) me very quickly because Andrea has a very high standard for cakes,” Green says. “I was learning everything, I’ve trained on the French macaron production … I just kind of started cross-training across the board to have that position; if someone didn't show up, I could jump in and fill in.”
Of course, Green had left the full-time, salaried world originally to open her business, but she left for the same reason we see Dallas chefs leaving restaurant kitchens to do pop-ups: It's a grueling industry.
“I definitely had gotten burnt out working the chef life,” she says. “It’s not encouraged to be healthy … A normal chef life is 75-90 hours a week.”
Even before this opportunity came up, she was taking careful consideration.
“I was trying to figure out for myself, is it still something? Can I find work-life balance in this industry that I love so much?” she says.
It’s a question a lot of chefs ask themselves, and many find their way back to kitchens with a new perception. That’s where Green is.
“Even if I’m scheduled 40 hours, there’s so much to do, and there’s so much fun in doing it,” she says. “Every day is something new. … How can you be bored? There’s always something to figure out, some problem to solve.”
And Meyer's pleased that problem-solving will be at Bisous.
"I’d wanted to make her our first pastry chef other than myself for a while, and she’s now had enough time with me and our fantastic team to know I’m sincere when I say I put my people first, and I want the best kitchen culture we can possibly have," she says. "I want a happy staff, and I don’t tolerate drama. She and I see eye-to-eye about positive attitude, integrity and teamwork."
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Before going on her own, Green had worked in various restaurants, including those of the Headington Companies (including the Joule Hotel, Wheelhouse, Sassetta, Commissary), Oak and Cafe Momentum. Now, she’s ready to make the Uptown bakery her new home.
“We’ve got some really fun stuff in the works for the Bisous retail shop that everyone’s really excited about,” she says. “R&D has always been my most favorite thing. … I get to be working on new flavors and combos and looking through our dry-goods shelves and saying, 'We have a lot of this random chocolate, what can we do with it?’
“This is such an opportunity for personal and professional growth with this team I’ve gotten to grow with.”
Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie, 3700 McKinney Ave., Suite 150 (Uptown). 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. bisous-bisous.com, 214-613-3570.