Chef Jill Bates, once the right hand of culinary legend Dean Fearing, has one goal these days: the creation of the perfect croissant. The six dozen she sells out of by 3 pm on any given Saturday should be proof she’s on the right track. Still, the pastry savant is up at 4 am, kneading, rolling, and laminating dough for the early-morning crowd at Sugar & Sage on Dallas’ Lovers Lane.

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