Meet Our Family: Elizabeth Hall

Head Savory Chef Elizabeth Hall

Maybe Elizabeth Hall didn’t always know that she was born to cook, but she has all of the ingredients that make up a true chef. At the tender age of 10, she began whipping up appetizers for her parents’ cocktail parties. Then there were the childhood summers spent perfecting crepes and stews. And, like any good chef, her eyes light up when she talks about food (she’s particularly fond of Spanish goat cheese). But the real proof is in her weekly brunch and lunch menus. You can taste the passion. Despite Elizabeth’s efforts to find a different path, even studying to be a surgery technician, she kept getting pulled back into the food world. That pull eventually plopped her right into our kitchen as head savory chef.

“When I tell people that I work for Macrina Bakery, they usually say, ‘Oh, they have the best pastries!’ And I usually say, ‘Yes, they do! But, that’s not what I do…’ And they’re like, ‘What else would you be doing there?”’

Considering its modest size, our Savory Department actually does a lot. From preparing the daily salads and soups to the rotating weekend brunch specials, this team of eight makes a big impact. In a busy week, that might look like hundreds of sandwiches or more in just one day.

Head Savory Chef Elizabeth Hall

“In the beginning I was really excited for the crazy level of creativity, which obviously is not the thing anymore. We have a job to do, we have people to feed,” Elizabeth says. “I like getting feedback from customers, I like it when the staff gets excited about something, and I like seeing my staff learn new things.”

Introducing staff and customers to new food experiences is one of her many gifts. One week you might find drunken goat cheese tucked into a pastrami sandwich or roasted concord grapes atop a peanut butter waffle.

“I love making people taste things,” she says with that blissful look in her eyes. “Like, this weekend we’re using black garlic. It’s fermented garlic that’s a little bit sweeter so you can eat it straight and you’re not going to get that heinous garlic breath.”

Sometimes she’s faced with the challenge of convincing the rest of the team of her vision, but in the end her creations win everyone over.

“What we do here is cherished by the community. You have to have a love of giving somebody their daily bread as opposed to an occasional thrill. You don’t go to an Ethan Stowell restaurant every night or even every week. But people come here every day and they bring their family and friends, because we’re offering a familiar, nourishing product.”

The Feast of St. Macrina

We had such a great time at our annual Feast of St. Macrina event! Each year our family gathers in honor of the bakery’s namesake to bond over our shared love of great food and community. While St. Macrina the Younger’s actual feast day is today, we spent Tuesday evening unwinding over dinner and games.

After closing the cafés a little early, Owner Leslie Mackie, Savory Chef Elizabeth Hall, and Production Manager Jane Cho prepared an incredible meal for the entire group.

Group Dinner

A Macrina family dinner wouldn’t be complete without an amazing dessert. Summer Shortcake featuring our Shortcake Biscuit, fresh berries, and vanilla ice cream was the grand finale. You can find the recipe for this perfect summer treat attached to bags of our Shortcake Biscuits.


Summer Shortcake Prep1

After dinner we split into teams for a rollicking relay race that included a beanbag toss, cupcake eating contest, and cake writing competition. The rain moved in at one point, but that didn’t stop us from having fun.

Toss Pair1

Cake Eating Comp2

There’s nothing like some friendly competition to bring our family closer. We really couldn’t ask for a better group of people to spend the day with. Thank you, Seattle, for giving us the afternoon off!

Cake Writing Group

Look for more photos from our 2013 Feast of Macrina event on our Facebook page.