Amidst the flurry of commuters coming and going in the crowded marketplace within the Ferry Building, on their way from and to the ferry boats, it might be very easy for passersby to take no notice of a lone individual sitting unobtrusively at a wooden folding table stocked with baked goods by the eastern exit. But to the contrary, it is very hard to walk past his original and eclectic assortment of delicious treats without slowing long enough to take in the variety and appeal of what's on offer and at least give serious consideration to giving in to temptation, diets be damned.
Van Dao, the man responsible, calls himself the Biscuit Elf (his choice of hats lives up to the name) and he has been a regular presence at the Ferry Building for several years now. An idiosyncratic career in the culinary arts that included stints in local kitchens at Nordstrom Café and Delessio Market and Bakery, and participation in Season Nine of the Food Network's television series Chopped led him to start his own business.
Drawing on his southern upbringing, Dao has put his own unique spin on downhome delectables, crafting comfort food for the gourmand. Hybridized biscuits share table space with scones, madeleines, beignets, and house-made jams, jellies, and other spreads. There are even dog biscuits suitable for human as well as canine consumption, and biscuit mix should foodies want to try their own hand at reproducing the classic baked goods at home.
A one-man operation, the intrepid baker starts his day just as many of us are ending ours, so he’s now only there on weekends, beginning bright and early.
J. Eric Miller offers delicious food for thought to the masses starved for literate entertainment. Those in need of well-chosen words or other language services can contact him at: email@example.com.
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