24 Hour sugar rush adventure in NYC…Day 1

So, I think many of you know that I have had a summer intern helping me this year. Emily is almost done with the pastry arts program and I wanted to do something special to thank her and congratulate her on her upcoming graduation. We left yesterday for our whirlwind 24 hour foodie and cupcake adventure to NYC. I seriously can’t believe all we did in such a short period of time. I booked our stay at the East Houston Hotel. It’s a lovely, modern, boutique hotel close to, Soho, Little Italy and China Town. I really loved it and would highly recommend it. There is a beautiful rooftop lounge and the view was pretty awesome. I had a blast taking all these pictures while we ran around NYC.
So, after we made it into the city without getting side swiped (yes I drove) and parked the car, we had a short walk to the hotel and happened to pass Bisous Ciao Macarons. I’d never been there before and it was a beautiful shop, so of course we had to stop in and make sure the macarons passed inspection. They were absolutely delicious and we actually went back to get more before we went home.

After we checked into the hotel, we decided to grab a bite to eat before a very important appointment at 3 pm. One of my favorite spots in NYC is Le Pain Quotidein. Just the most delicious fresh food with great atmosphere. I always get their giant meringue cookie…light, airy and yummy.

The restaurant was just around the corner from the most wonderful part of our trip to New York..a visit to Ron Ben-Israel Cakes. I was so excited when Ron said he would have time to give us a tour of his bakery and sugar flower studio. He’s truly my biggest inspiration as a cake artist. I had the opportunity to take his 3 day sugar flower course earlier this year in Savannah at Minette Rushing Custom Cakes. Ron greeted us with his infectious smile and a big hug. He looked adorable in his pastry jacket and plaid bermuda shorts. Visiting his bakery is a memory I will always cherish. Oh…we actually got to sample the delicious vanilla cake with lemon buttercream filling he created for Martha Stewart’s birthday party. For a great read, Ron’s right hand person Rebecca writes a fantastic blog about the adventures of working at Ron Ben-Israel Cakes. Here it is: http://nyccakegirl.wordpress.com/

We were two very lucky girls! Thank you Ron and Rebecca 🙂

Ron helped develop and is teaching a new cake design program at the French Culinary Institute just down the street. He arranged for us to get a tour of the amazing school and also have dinner at the chef and student run restaurant L’Ecole later that night. All I can say is that the 5 course dinner was one of the most wonderful meals I have ever had. If you are in town you should definitely go…you won’t be disappointed.

Before dinner we walked around Soho and stopped into my favorite paper store…Kate’s Paperie. They have the most beautiful papers and stationery.

Down the street was Dean and Deluca. A must stop spot for any gourmet food lover.

We then made our first cupcake stop. One of my favorite spots is Billy’s Bakery.

The decor in the shop was retro and adorable and the cupcakes did not disappoint.
We had the red velvet with a sweet vanilla buttercream frosting and a banana cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting. They were both yummy. Moist cakes with sweet traditional buttercream frostings.

Ron suggested we stop by two of his friend’s shops, so we went on the hunt for Francois Payard Bakery and Jacques Torres Chocolates. Did I mention we walked about 10 miles yesterday?? Maybe it was a little less but it felt like it! Yes…we found Francois Payard Bakery on our journey.

He is an amazing pastry chef and has several beautiful books out. We tried the Eclair Caramel…OMG…super delish..very rich, but the salted caramel filling… just decadent.

After gobbling down the eclair, we went on the hunt for Crumbs Bake Shop. Yes! we finally found it too. Unfortunately, I could not stuff another cupcake into my body, but Emily could 🙂

Crumb’s offers mostly jumbo cupcakes, but some regular size versions too. They are not fancy, but just fun. Oh look…the cupcake above is only 870 calories 🙂

Emily went with the red velvet. It was probably only 800 calories. Crumbs was voted #2 cupcake shop for the day after Billy’s.

After all the cupcakes, sweets and walking we went to dinner!

Day 2 on the blog tomorrow!


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