Hey guys, happy Wednesday! I know I’ve been away for a while, but, things have been CRAZY! Our site CRASHED! We got spammed and as a result we had to beef up our security. But, not to worry I am back and ready to share all the things that have been happening over the last month.
To start, the fundraising dinner for No Kid Hungry and honorary dinner for chef Jose Andres and Susan K. Neely, was on June 13th. It was an amazing night! I brought my brother David along, to be my right-hand man for the evening and hired my girl, the FABULOUS Meghan of Meghan Elizabeth Photography—on photo duty. Now, if I’m being honest the build up to this event was an intense one. I had just flown back into town from London, on June 9th. So, in the span of four days I had to contend with correcting jet leg and prepping all essentials and details. But, with the help of my family and 2 nights of great rest, I was ready for the night. The goal of the evening was to raise enough money to help provide and continue food access for children and their families. Thanks to the generous donations of so many in attendance, No Kid Hungry was able to raise enough funds to continue help those in need.
For the event, there were 3 pastry chefs for the outdoor dessert course. In addition to WinniE’s Bakery, there was Aja Cage of Ris restaurant and Tiffany McIssac of Buttercream Bakeshop. WinniE’s provided the alternative desserts for the night. I made our Vegan Watermelon Tequila Granita w/ Lime Scented Coconut Cream (recipe coming soon) and our Gluten-Free Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk cookies with Brown Butter ice cream and a Caramel brittle. I must admit, I was initially nervous people would be put off by seeing words like “vegan” and “gluten-free” used to describe their dessert. But, then I quickly remembered there is a vast and ever growning community of people who love food, but, have dietry restrictions. Sure enough, our items were a hit! Throughout the night I only actuallly met 3 people (out of the the 100+) who need an alternative dessert. It warmed my heart to see people not only enjoying my food. But, they often would come back for seconds! Plus, oh man, was it fun working food service with my brother. What people often don’t realize is there is a great deal of meticulous planning that goes into creating food, but, also it maintaining it’s integrity. Because I chose to make most of my items things that needed to be frozen, I had another layer of prep. I needed to make sure I had a cooler that could remain cold enough for 5+ hrs in 90° weather, large enough to fit enough granita and ice cream for 75-80 people and the ice packs and easily mobile. As David and I awaited the guest to exit into the dessert patio, our emotions brimmed anticipation, as we could only prep so much. We had place the dessert vessels out. However, we couldn’t put out the granita and ice cream too early or everything would melt. So, that meant David and I would have to bring our “A-game”. Honestly, I could have asked for a better partner. David was an absolutle ACE! He’s such a people person, he’s my big brother so he knows me better than most and not to mention is great at working quickly executed food service. It’s safe to say I am grateful and fortunate in equal measure. That evening with No Kid Hungry was thrilling, fulfilling and a night I will not soon forget! Check out som photos below.
Some of the AMAZING culinary pro’s from the night!
This is what happens when you arrive early and Meghan forces you to pose in front of the camera.
Introducing “the Chef’s” to the audience.
Oh look, there’s David!
Watermelon Tequila Granita w/ Lime Scented Coconut Cream-Vegan
Gluten-Free Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk cookie w/ Brown Butter ice cream topped w/ a Caramel Brittle
Special Thanks to: Wendy Catabagan and to all the hard working individuals at Share Our Strength, who power No Kid Hungry!
If you’d like to donate click the link below.