5 Questions: Bryan Connor, Bard & Baker head chef – The Saratogian

Restaurant News

Bryan Connor is the head chef of Bard & Baker, a board game cafe in downtown Troy. Connor is a classically trained pastry chef. He was previously was the pastry sous chef at Clark House Hospitality, crafting desserts for the Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar, Peck’s Arcade and little pecks.

Recently, Connor appeared on Food Network’s Chopped Sweets in Episode 12 of Season 1, titled “Breakfast for Dessert.”

1. How did the opportunity arise for you to be featured on Chopped Sweets?

“We received an email from Chopped Sweets about the opportunity to be featured after the scouting team had researched Bard & Baker and my Instagram. They were impressed by our offerings and creativity and were looking for new chef contestants for the show.”

2. What was the experience like for you?

“I had never done anything like this before save for a single small baking competition about 10 years ago. While I typically don’t enjoy culinary competitions in general, I felt as though this was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I had to go for it and give it a shot. The experience itself was pleasant and interesting. I remember the producers of the show as well as my competitors all being very friendly.

“I enjoyed meeting everyone and hearing about their businesses and telling them about Bard & Baker as well. It was very surreal being a board game cafe competing on national television.”

3. Are there any lessons that you took away with you from this experience?

“I definitely became more aware of my own limitations. My Chopped Sweets experience came right on the heels of several other large Bard & Baker projects and events. The timing was unfortunate as it did not allow me adequate time to prepare and practice, which is absolutely essential for a competition like this. I learned a lot from my competitors and really enjoyed getting to know them.

“The lesson of ‘don’t spread yourself too thin’ was a big takeaway regarding limitations. I would absolutely go back for a redemption episode and give it my all.”

4. For those watching your Chopped Sweets episode at home, do you have any recommendations for a yummy sofa-friendly snack that will compliment their viewing experience?

“Back when I was a pastry chef at Peck’s Arcade, at the end of the week I would take the leftover ice cream and various dessert accouterments and create a huge post-service sundae for staff that we would enjoy together for family meal. We called it a ‘Saturday Sundae’ and the team looked forward to it all week long.

“Ice cream is always my go-to tv watching snack, so I’d recommend raiding your own pantry at home for a very Chopped Sweets-esque Saturday Sundae of your own.”

5. Looking ahead, what’s your goal for the future as the head chef of Bard & Baker?

“While we are incredibly focused on getting through the current pandemic, I am looking forward to further expanding upon our five-course video game themed dinner series we are calling ‘Pixel to Plate.’ We had just finished up Season 1, which was very well received, and were about to launch Season 2 before the state mandated closures.

“We have been experimenting with a board game home rental delivery service and live streamed cooking shows from the B&B kitchen that we hope to continue after this is over as well. We really miss seeing our guests and community connect over board games in the space.”

More information about Bard & Baker is available online at www.bardandbaker.com or by calling 518-948-6693.

Source: Thanks https://www.saratogian.com/news/local-news/5-questions-bryan-connor-bard-baker-head-chef/article_2f7b789a-8652-11ea-a2ae-33bfd9e27519.html