Tom Wellings brushes rectangles of pizza dough with olive oil. On the other side of the counter, his wife, Camila Arango, pipes cream between layers of pastry for the classic French dessert Paris-Brest. The air is rich with butter, yeast and just-baked croissants. Trays of pistachio and gianduja macarons and glistening kouign-amann the color of maple syrup fill racks, ready to be shuttled downstairs.
At a pop-up space called Prequel, the pastry chefs are doing a test run of Bluebird Bakery, a boulangerie-patisserie they hope to open late this summer or in early fall. Almost everything is in order. They’ve put down a letter of intent for a first-floor space in the Holm apartment building in Logan Circle, on the corner of 11th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW, which is still under construction. During more than a decade, they’ve honed their techniques while working for high-profile establishments in the city — she for Alain Ducasse’s now-shuttered Adour and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, he for Restaurant Eve, Fabio Trabocchi’s various enterprises and Equinox. The recipes have been developed.