Chef Jane Wild has found a new home. After being furloughed by The Dunlavy due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wild will now serve as both director of operations and executive chef for Golden Bagels & Coffee, the popular cafe on White Oak Drive in The Heights.
Wild tells CultureMap that she’s been a long time Golden customer, because her partner worked there previously as a barista and manager. When she heard owners Gregg Goldstein and Avi Katz were looking for a new chef, she approached them about the opportunity. They created a position that allows her to divide her time between working in the kitchen and being out front serving customers.
“When I was at The Dunlavy, I enjoyed every single minute of it. The one thing I missed was interacting with customers,” Wild says. “I’m back in that coffee shop/bakery that I had in Tomball, I can be the barista or counter person and loving on people or I can jump back there and support bagel production,” Wild says.
While Wild doesn’t have any direct experience making bagels, she notes that she can leverage the cafe’s current bakers to help her get up to speed. She plans to expand Golden’s offerings beyond the lox and nova it cures in-house by adding meats such as pastrami, roast beef, and sliced turkey. She’ll also add salads, vegan items (including sunflower seed cream cheese) and some gluten-free items to diversify the menu.
“I also love healthy eating as well,” Wild says. “We’ve got a really educated neighborhood. I’m excited to bring some of those nutrient dense foods and play with some holistic drinks.”
Expect Golden to be a more visible presence in the community, too. Wild plans to begin selling bagels at area farmers markets and hosting collaborative dinners with other area chefs, farmers, and wineries.
“If you know me, I’m not scared of anything,” Wild says. “I’ll be a student for little bit when it comes to this kind of baking, just growing as a chef.”
Golden remains a to-go only operation for now, but Wild says they plan to reopen the patio for dine-in service soon.