The MAC Annual

The craziest night of my pastry life by far - even crazier than working in a French bakery during the Tour de France - was the MAC annual meeting. It was Tuesday, February 8th, 2004. We had prepped for this event for weeks, and tonight was the culmination of our efforts. The pastry department made sixteen desserts and cinnamon rolls for the event; we were prepared for 1,300 people. The night was a lot of work, and a lot of fun. The best part was the sense of accomplishment as I looked out over the setup, ready to serve. Here are some images I took before the members came in.

The calm before the storm...we set up three tables full of plates. Everything is nicely arranged now, but in an hour, it would be chaos. It was all I could do to keep desserts on the table, much less in any semblance of design.

We made sixteen desserts in all. Here are poached pear tarts, maple flan, sour cherry tarts, a chocolate velvet cake, a chocolate pyramid cake with berry compote, and fresh fruit tarts.

The center table, laden and ready to serve.

Our menu - Apple Bars, Lemon Bars, Creme Caramel,Chocolate Velvet Cake, NY Cheesecake, White Chocolate Bread Pudding, Butterscotch Tiramisu, Almond Pear Tart, Lemon Sour Cherry Tart, Pumpkin Pave, Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies, and Hazelnut Mocha Marionberry Torte. Also on the tables but not on the menu were Fresh Fruit Tart, Chocolate Mousse, Maple Flan, and Chocolate Pyramid Cake. We ran out of desserts and so we scrambled to put something - anything - on a plate towards the end of the evening.

Some berry and cherry and chocolate love. Staggered plates of lemon sour cherry tarts and chocolate pyramid cake with berry compote.

These tables would all be full in 30 minutes.

Custards and yummy things. Peanut butter fudge brownie, creme caramel, NY cheesecake, chocolate velvet cake, hazelnut mocha marionberry torte, maple flan.

Peanut butter fudge brownies, left, and white chocolate bread pudding, right.

More desserts, also pumpkin pave on the left in the front. It's a VERY yummy dessert that's a lot like pumpkin pie with streusel.

Plates of butterscotch tiramisu on standby.

Hazelnut mocha marionberry torte on standby.

These racks were all full, and would be again in a short time. Each rack holds 72 plates, and we had six racks going. My job was to dash out and refill the tables, and then if I caught a moment, I helped Shelby and Chef Roy build more plates in the back staging area.

Stacks and stacks of plates. This was after the first set of desserts had been plated and set out. We had two tables of plates going, and we used them ALL. In fact, we had to have the dish crew bring us up some more. We built up enough plates to completely fill all of the racks to start with, and kept building them as the evening went on.

I slept soundly that night, I can tell you. It was a complete adrenaline rush, and one of the times I definitely knew I was in the right business.

























Plated Desserts
    Eggnog Brulee
    The MAC Annual
    Chocolate Mousse
    Orange Cake
    Chocolate Sleigh
Wedding Cakes

12 Strand Bread Braid
Chocolate Mice