These are my stars, the AMAZING purveyors of the Dessert Comes First Christmas Gift List.
Big smiles all around on Saturday, November 12, 2011. After three months of planning, 18 of my selected food purveyors gathered at the Top Shelf of Fully Booked to welcome and feed 200 food lovers at the Dessert Comes First Christmas Gift List. Get to know my 18 stars below and the tremendous food and products they offer.
- Cafe Ysabel & Pastelleria Mallorca as represented by Chef Gene Gonzalez’s daughter, Gianinna (at right). After the event, they gifted me with a box of Mermelada, my absolute favorite pastry from Mallorca.
June Andaya of Bruges Belgian Chocolates. Her lighted table display garnered quite the number of “oohs.” Millet Soberano’s Divine Desserts Me and Millet. John Sta. Cruz of Cake Planet. The guests just couldn’t get enough of the Turtle Pie and the Santa Cruz while others sang praises for his Macadamia Chocolate Sans Rival. Already possessing a wide fan base, many guests came to the DCF Xmas Gift List specifically to meet Ian Carandang of Sebastian’s. Ian knows how to scoop ’em and serve ’em up. Chef Sau del Rosario of Villa Cafe. The famous Kaldereta Lamb Shanks were wiped out before I could even get to them. Charley Braga of Crust commanded a strong following with her Pecan Pies in Classic or Dulce de Leche. One guest even waited a full hour to buy a whole pie!
I would wait as long as was necessary to buy a pie as beautiful and as delicious as this one from Charley.
I was shocked when I found out at the event that Jenny of Sugarbee was pregnant — with her 5th (!) child. I would never have guessed from her boundless energy and infectious smile. And look at Jenny’s Alfajores and Florentines below. Mara’s Crepe Cake is a winner but guests soon fell in love with Mara’s other creations (see below). One guest was so enamored with Chef Ed Quimson’s Chicken Ham that she ordered 10 right then and there for the holidays. The Paella at the event was sold out too. No one knows vanilla better than Perry and Ria Jocson. Guests exclaimed over TVC’s fragrant vanilla beans and aromatic extracts. Tina Diaz’s Yema Torte was a killer pastry at the event. “I want THAT on my Christmas table,” a guest was overheard saying. I watched as a guest crossed out all the names on his Christmas gift list with presents bought from the TWG table. Addie was so chic with her nautical-themed dress and swept-up shades. Her dreamy ensaymadas pretty much swept everyone away. Chef Buddy Trinidad’s table was a paean to pastry, bursts of color and sweet dreams. Guests were drawn to the Melbourne Prime Table, hypnotized by the intoxicating smells of beef and desire. Below, Angus Roast Beef. Melbourne Prime’s Executive Chef Chris Bautista knows how to serve up prime meat with panache. Chef Arnold Bernardo’s Deep Dips delight. Here he is (at left) with his friend, Mike. Raul Matias of Machiavelli Chocolates couldn’t stay for the event but guests were more than entranced with his truffle selections and that Bacon Chocolate bar. “Thank goodness they’ve got coffee!” Exclaimed some dessert-laden guests. CBTL was so kind to feature their Single Serve Beverage System at the DCF Xmas Gift List. Excellent coffee!