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LET’S START WITH DESSERT! We are delighted to announce the next installment in our latest dinner series, Sucrée: A Sticky Sweet Tasting Soirée! Join us on Sunday, August 25th, 2019 at
LET’S START WITH DESSERT!
We are delighted to announce the next installment in our latest dinner series, Sucrée: A Sticky Sweet Tasting Soirée! Join us on Sunday, August 25th, 2019 at 5:00pm for our latest dessert-focused dining event, taking place at the beautiful Blackbird Farm in Smithfield, RI. The evening will bring together three of the area’s most innovative pastry chefs: Caitlyn McGuire of Ellie’s in Providence (our sister restaurant), Brian Mercury of Boston’s Oak + Rowan, and our own Melissa Denmark of Gracie’s and Ellie’s. Throughout the course of the evening, each chef will present her or his own signature dessert course, along with savory hors d’œuvres enjoyed at the cocktail hour preceding seated dessert tastings. The evening’s summer picnic-themed menu will focus on the incredible ingredients that this short and sweet season has to offer, drawing inspiration from the fresh herbs, flowers, and fruits that define summer in Rhode Island. Carefully curated cocktails will complement each course of the dessert tasting, and will also take center stage during the cocktail hour around the farm’s grounds. Guests will dine together at a communal-style table in the middle of the pasture while the sun sets. We chose Blackbird Farm as the perfect backdrop for our event because of all the love and gratitude for the land at this beautiful farm. This is sure to be one sweet sayonara to summer!
About the Chefs:
Brian Mercury, Puritan & Co., Executive Pastry Chef
Hailing from Rochester, NY, Brian grew up surrounded by a big family that placed importance on getting together and sharing good food. As a kid, he developed a sweet tooth by helping his grandmother make cookies and desserts, and spent most of his allowance on candy. A suggestion from his father lead Brian to pursue a culinary education, and he received his Associates in Baking and Pastry Arts from the Culinary Institute of America, along with a Bachelors in Food Management from Rochester Institute of Technology. Brian arrived in Boston in 2004 and has worked in the kitchens of The Charles Hotel, Harvest Restaurant, and Oak + Rowan. Recently he has joined the team at Will Gilson’s Puritan & Co. as Executive Pastry Chef. Brian’s accomplishments include Food & Wine’s “People’s Choice Best New Pastry Chef, East Region 2013,” Boston Magazine’s “Boston’s Best Pastry Chef 2014 & 2018,” and Improper Bostonian’s “Boston’s Best Desserts 2013 & 2017.” When he’s not concocting new desserts, Brian enjoys spending as much time as possible with his wife Denise and children Mia and Mason.
Melissa Denmark, Gracie’s & Ellie’s, Executive Pastry Chef
Chef Denmark grew up in Columbia, Maryland, with a cookbook in one hand and a whisk in the other. Her love of baking led her to Johnson & Wales University, where she graduated summa cum laude in 2010 with a Bachelors degree in baking and pastry arts. That same year, Denmark assumed the role of Executive Pastry Chef at Gracie’s, and in 2012, developed the bread and pastry program at Ellie’s, formerly Ellie’s Bakery. Chef Denmark draws her inspiration from travel, childhood memories, and unusual ingredients to create savory-sweet, unique desserts. She was named as one of the 50 Best New Pastry Chefs in the country by Food & Wine magazine in 2012; in 2014 was named a Rising Star in Coastal New England by the culinary magazine, Starchefs; and in 2017 was named to Zagat‘s 30 Under 30 list of “gastronomic game changers” who are redefining the industry!
Caitlyn McGuire, Ellie’s, Pastry Chef
Caitlyn McGuire comes to us from Andover, New Jersey. She began her baking and pastry career at Stella G’s, an intimate breakfast and lunch cafe that introduced her to the beauty of working with seasonal and fresh ingredients. Caitlyn attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence and received her Bachelors in Pastry Arts. She completed her internship at Gracie’s, where she fell in love with the company and the team fell in love with her drive. After her internship, she was offered the position of Assistant Pastry Chef at Ellie’s and ultimately, Pastry Chef.
Caitlyn has a keen eye for detail and a systematic method for recipe development. She celebrates the refinement of hand-crafted pastries and the broad-sweeping language of good food. Now, while the world sleeps, Caitlyn leads a passionate team of bakers through the night, so that all of Rhode Island can enjoy fresh croissants and goodies.
Leishla Maldonado, Courtland Club, Beverage Director
Originally from Boston, Leishla Maldonado has been in the restaurant industry for a decade. After relocating to Providence four years ago, Leishla spent two wonderful years at the renowned The Eddy in downtown Providence, and currently serves as the Beverage Director at Courtland Club.
She stumbled onto bartending years ago as a server seeking to grow her knowledge, and has never looked back since! She loves that bartending allows her to explore her creativity, digging deep into flavors and spirits and developing unique cocktails. Leishla believes that a great drink is only part of the equation, and that when paired with great hospitality, her aim is to create a memorable experience for each and every guest.
(Sunday) 5:00 pm
Blackbird Farm, Smithfield, RI
122 Limerock Rd.