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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 26th, 2018 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 26th, 2018 at 5:00pm for what will be our sixth dessert-focused dining event, taking place at the beautiful Blackbird Farm in Smithfield, RI. The evening will bring together three of the East Coast’s most innovative and exciting pastry chefs: Michelle Chen of Patisserie Chanson in New York City, Brian Mercury of Boston’s Oak + Rowan, and our own Melissa Denmark of Gracie’s and Ellie’s Bakery. 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 garden party-themed menu will focus on the best of New England’s seasonal bounty harvested under the August “Grain Moon,” 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 enjoy dinner together at a communal-style table in the middle of the pasture, while the sun sets to unveil an enchanted full moon. This is one sweet sayonara to summer! Meet the Chefs:
Michelle Chen, Patisserie Chanson, Head Pastry Chef
“I’ve always said that the two things I wish to hear the most are, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ and ‘That was delicious.’” —Michelle Chen Michelle Chen grew up in NYC where she developed an early appreciation for diversity. Be it food, culture, or just the daily stroll past hundreds of humans, she understood there was beauty in the nature of bringing different people together. And that picture unfolds most vividly in the kitchen. With little to no experience cooking or baking prior to attending culinary school, curiosity became her drive for learning. Her first taste of the industry came with the opening of Mille-feuille Bakery Cafe in NYC as a young assistant to Chef Olivier Dessyn. Upon graduating from Johnson & Wales University, she worked at James Beard award-winning restaurant L’espalier in Boston. It introduced her to the realm of fine dining and sparked her love for bringing elevated desserts to the table. That eventually led Michelle to join the team at the critically acclaimed Gracie’s in Providence, RI. Under passionate leadership and strong philosophy on hospitality, she grew to be their pastry chef de cuisine. In March 2017, Michelle helped open Patisserie Chanson and CHANSON Dessert Bar; a new project celebrating the art of dessert in the Flatiron District of NYC. She now leads the team there as Head Pastry Chef.
Brian Mercury, Oak + Rowan, Executive Pastry Chef
Having grown up in a large family that bonded over a love of good food, Brian Mercury developed a sweet tooth at an early age. He could often be found helping his grandmother make cookies and desserts for family gatherings and was known to spend most of his allowance on candy. At the suggestion of his father, Brian attended the Culinary Institute of America, and received his Bachelors in food management from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Arriving in Boston in 2004, Brian first took a role under Executive Pastry Chef Dan Angelopolus at The Charles Hotel before later working closely with Pastry Chef Susan Abbott at Rialto. In 2011, Brian began his successful tenure as the Executive Pastry Chef of Cambridge, MA’s acclaimed Harvest, where he garnered local and national recognition, including Food & Wine’s 2013 “People’s Choice Best New Pastry Chef, East Region.” Locally, The Improper Bostonian awarded Brian’s menu at Harvest “Boston’s Best Desserts” in 2013 and Boston magazine named Brian “Best Pastry Chef” in 2014. As the opening Executive Pastry Chef of Oak + Rowan, Brian creates artful, modernized presentations of classic sweets that earned The Improper Bostonian’s 2017 award for “Boston’s Best Desserts.”
Melissa Denmark, Gracie’s & Ellie’s Bakery, 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 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!
(Sunday) 5:00 pm
660 Douglas Pike