About Us

Chef Dan O'Hara   Kristen and Dan O'Hara

Harris & Essex is Chef Dan O'Hara (from Essex county NJ) and his wife, Kristen O'Hara (from Harris county TX). 

Dan loves baked goods – whether it's scones for breakfast or cookies after dinner.

He was fortunate to grow up in a home in New Jersey with two parents who loved to cook. Desserts were the domain of his Irish grandmothers – two amazing women who never showed up to a family gathering without an assortment of cakes, pies and cookies.

Inspired by his family's passion for home cooking and his insatiable sweet tooth, Dan decided to follow his dream of becoming a pastry chef and graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City in 2010. He spent the next five years learning from talented, top-tier chefs in restaurants and bakeries in NYC. In 2015, Dan and Kristen moved to her hometown, Houston, and Dan continued working in restaurants and learning from the best.

In 2017, driven by a desire to share his love of pastries in a more personal way, Dan started Harris & Essex, a bakery focused on using high-quality ingredients to make delicious, made-to-order pastries and more. From French classics to New American favorites, and influenced by the flavors of both New Jersey (Essex county) and Texas (Harris county), Dan just wants to brighten your day with the best baked goods around.