Sugar & Sage is a Sweet, Salty, Sold-Out Sensation on Dallas’ Lovers Lane

September 23, 2023
Paper City
Jill Bates

Meet the Culinary Force Behind the Park Cities Bakery’s Killer Croissants, Kouign-Amann, and Salted Cookies

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.

“I want to master it. I’m going to win this,” she says.

Sugar & Sage founders Alison and Ashley Weinstein had interviewed several candidates for executive pastry chef for their neighborhood bakery and coffee shop, which opened in the spring. But Bates’ salted chocolate chip cookie helped seal the deal.

“Jill has been revered in the industry since her coming of age through the Dallas culinary market,” Alison says. “She’s the reason for the buzz here.”

Bates’ pastry pedigree includes Fearing’s Restaurant at The Ritz Carlton, Dallas; Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek; and Café Momentum. She collaborated with Michael Laiskonis, James Beard Award-winning chef and former head of the pastry program at the three-Michelin-starred Le Bernardin in New York, to develop the Sugar & Sage menu and refine recipes, including pan au chocolat, everything bagel brioche, and kouign-amann.

Texas roots means a cheddar, cream cheese, and roasted jalapeño Danish was up for grabs the day I visited — the sweet and salty combo emblematic.

The bakery is a go-to among University Park families, who lounge on the turf-covered patio with strollers. That’s what Sugar & Sage is all about: community, ease, and, of course, taste.

Jill Bates

Paper City

Dani Grande