Rising Star Chef William Werner of Craftsman and Wolves - Biography

San Francisco, CA

August 2014

Florida native William Werner spent his early years the way any reasonably ambitious local might: working as a lifeguard during high school, planning on a career in emergency medicine, and spending free time surfing. But when some older lifeguards showed him the basics of cooking, Werner fell hard for cuisine, and the camaraderie that comes with it.

Unable to afford culinary school, Werner looked for hands-on training at a local vegetarian restaurant. The chef, a Chez Panisse and French Laundry alum, became a mentor, imparting the standards of those iconic restaurants to young Werner. When a pastry chef position opened, Werner found the cerebral aspects of the sweet station appealing. Since transitioning to the sweet side, he has worked everywhere from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to San Francisco’s Quince, honing an impressive mastery of pastry techniques and developing a distinct creative outlook.

In 2011 he developed the pop-up concept Tell Tale Preserve Company and began selling a wide array of inventive pastries at the city’s farmers markets and local coffee shops. And in summer 2012, Werner opened Craftsman and Wolves, a contemporary pâtisserie in San Francisco’s Mission district, garnering praise in publications like Food & Wine, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit, and Wallpaper. Werner himself was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Pastry Chef” award in 2013 and earned a 2013 StarChefs.com Rising Stars Artisan Award. Werner surfs on with plans to flesh out his pop-up high tea concept, Kettle Whistle, as a brick and mortar space.