Rising Star Chef William Werner of Craftsman and Wolves - Biography

San Francisco, CA

September 2015

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

Unable to afford culinary school, Werner looked for hands-on training. 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 for myriad places from Ritz-Carlton Hotels to San Francisco’s Quince, developing a distinct and inventive outlook.

In 2011, he opened the pop-up concept Tell Tale Preserve Company and began selling an array of pastries at farmers markets and coffee shops. In summer 2012, Werner opened Craftsman and Wolves, a contemporary pâtisserie in San Francisco’s Mission district, garnering widespread praise. Werner was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Pastry Chef” award in 2013 and earned a 2013 StarChefs Rising Stars Award. He also serves as a Valrhona Pastry Chef Consultant. Later this year, Werner will open a Southern California outpost of Craftsman and Wolves in the newly developed Platform space in Culver City that will be a collection of art, fashion, and culinary talent. A second,  highly anticipated San Francisco location will soon open in Russian Hill.