On March 9th over 350 sweets lovers flocked to the International Culinary Center (ICC) in Manhattan to fill shopping bags with unique artisanal treats, from a Baklava Croissant to a re-imagined Ring Ding, offered by over a dozen talented toques. The event, benefitting nonprofit Hot Bread Kitchen, was the charitable arm of ICC’s upcoming Pastry Plus Conference on March 24th, and raised $5, 350.00 for Hot Bread’s training programs.
Jansen Chan, ICC’s Director of Pastry Operations was the host for Pastryland, partnering with Callebaut, who unveiled their new RB1 ruby couverture, available to consumers for the first time in New York City. A small coterie of chefs and chocolatiers have been working with samples of ruby supplied by Callebaut to craft sweets that feature its rosy color tones and fruity flavor. Showcased at the bake sale: Monica Ng, executive pastry chef at Great Performances, Ruby Velvet Choux; Bon Bons from Christopher Curtin’s Eclat Chocolates; Mexican Scribble Cookies with Ruby filling from Fany Gerson, pastry chef, La Newyorkina; and Dimitriy Shurygin, pastry chef at The Key Patisserie,’s Ruby Snack Bar; (Stay tuned for more about Ruby in Pastry Arts Magazine.)
Callebaut, Beurremont, and Neilson Massey also donated chocolate, butter, and vanilla, respectively to all the bake sale chefs for use in their sweets. Cream puffs, cookies and small cakes to savor at Pastryland included Batard executive pastry chef, Julie Elkind’s Pate a Choux filled with caramel chocolate ganache and tropical fruit compote; Dorayaki, made with sweet red bean and chocolate sesame by Jeffrey Wurtz, executive pastry chef at Aureole; Cacao Nib Butter Cookies from Lindsey Bittner, pastry chef at Leonelli Restaurants; and pastry director at Counter Hospitality pastry director Joe Murphy’s Meyer Lemon Madeleines.
Clever riffs on popular pastries included a Snickers Donut from Lindsay Farr, pastry chef at Marc Forgione; Lafayette pastry chef Tyler Atwell’s chocolate Ring Ding; and Pastry Chef Instructor at ICC Stephen Collucci’s chocolate dipped Fluffernutter. Other ICC staff, Dean Jacques Torres, and guest instructor Ron Ben Israel joyfully filled their bags to the brim, relishing the interaction with their colleagues.
Sought after colorful cakes and tarts, alluring in clear plastic containers, included Per Se pastry chef Anna Bolz’s Toasted Coconut Layer Cake with almond feuilletine, passion fruit mousse and white chocolate; vivid Mini Pistachio Gateaux with vanilla buttercream and raspberry pate de fruit, from Shawn Velez, executive pastry chef at Café Boulud NY; Jin Capobianco, pastry sous chef at The River Cafe’s Hazelnut Mocha Opera; Charlotte Neuville, President of her eponymous cake company’s Miniature Cake Tasting; and a decadent chocolate hazelnut tart by Daniel Alvarez, Union Square Cafe’s pastry chef.
Among bakery specialties shoppers scooped up a PJ+J Kouign Amman filled with Cassis jam baked by Patisserie Chanson’s executive chef Rory Macdonald; Bien Cuit executive pastry chef Scott Cioe’s Baklava Croissant; and Chocolate Babka from the women of Hot Bread Kitchen. At the Hot Bread Kitchen table, head baker Dorothy Auer explained the organization’s mission to create economic opportunity through careers in food; “We have two training programs; one is actually here at ICC”, she noted, “we train about 30 women at a time in a four-week program and then we have a placement service to help them find jobs.” To support this mission Hot Bread operates a commercial bakery and sells bread inspired by the women in the program. Their donation will be presented at the Pastry Plus conference.