If you’ve been to Ba Bar lately, you may have noticed the anteroom is now home to pastry chef Karen Krol’s workshop. Krol, who came to Seattle from Chicago in 2010, has dramatically expanded the baked offerings at Eric Banh’s Vietnamese street food-inspired restaurant.
Her pastry station is the first thing you see when you walk in the door, and buffers the front area from the spacious dining room. Here under the casual gaze of daytime drinkers and diners, Krol prepares all manner of French pastry, including croissants, madeleines, palmiers, and, yes, the highly on-trend macaron. She also makes cookies and cakes that diners can order up, or take away.
Her savory duties include the pate chaud, the buttery, flaky puff pastry, made in house and wrapped around a mixture of onions, carrots, ground pork, and pork pate. In case you didn’t consider pork and pastry enough of a selling point, the final product is topped with a fried egg and served with the world’s most adorable cup of bacon gravy. It stays on the menu all day, since there’s no really meal that can’t benefit from the addition of pork, pastry and gravy.
Our Seattlemet.com photographer extraordinaire Lucas Anderson visited Krol in her workspace. Check out the slideshow to see her take the pate chaud from ingredients to seriously tempting reality.