William Werner, a Florida native, first worked as a beach lifeguard during high school, planning to pursue a career in emergency medicine and spending his free time surfing the waves. A group of older lifeguards showed him the basics of cooking and Werner was drawn not only to cuisine, but also the camaraderie that comes with it. He couldn’t afford culinary school and instead looked for a restaurant job, landing at a local vegetarian restaurant. The chef, a Chez Panisse and The French Laundry alum, became a mentor, instilling in him the standards and rigor of those great restaurants.
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 pastry at the city’s farmers markets and local coffee shops.
In summer 2012, Werner opened Craftsman and Wolves, a contemporary pâtisserie in the vibrant Mission district of San Francisco. He has garnered praise both locally and nationally in publications, including Food & Wine, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit, and Wallpaper, and he was nominated for the 2013 James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Pastry Chef” award. His next step includes plans to flesh out his pop-up high tea concept, Kettle Whistle, as a brick and mortar location.