Boston Hot Spots!

I’ve done it again- I’ve stumbled on some cool Boston finds! I’m always looking for the next cool thing to go out and do but sometimes the best things happen when you find them accidentally.

652 653 654I was showing my friend some parts of the city when we came across a farmers market in Copley Square! Right across from the Boston Public Library, there were tons of tents filled to the brim with fresh, beautiful produce and flowers. I even saw a cool pasta stand and organic mushroom stand for some really interesting takeaways! Plus, I ate an apple the size of my face so I can’t hate that!

The Copley Square farmers market is every Tuesday and Friday 11am-6pm through the end of November!

655 656 657 658 659 660 661 662 663 664 667Another day, I went to a new store in Boston called Primark. I had seen a couple YouTubers gush about their “Primark hauls” so I was excited that it finally made it to the US! It’s basically a Marshalls meets TJ Maxx meets H&M and Forever 21. The prices are unbelievable, especially for the basics that you need in your wardrobe. I ended up getting two slouchy sweaters, 2 sports bras, a new make-up bag and make up remover for $32.50!

685Next, we moseyed to a book shop I wanted to check out called Brattle Book Shop. I drive by it on my way home from work and knew I had to go! Brattle Book Shop is one of America’s oldest used/antique book shops as it opened in 1825.

681The book shop wheels out carts of discounted books to the adjoining alleyway for people to browse. Inside, they have an even larger collection of used books organized by subjects. They rotate their stock often so I’ll definitely be back! I found a book called Life, On the Line by Greg Achatz. It’s about a famous restauranteur who was diagnosed with tongue cancer and had to have massive amounts of his tongue removed leaving him without a sense of taste. Such a devastating blow to a chef but I’m sure there will be a great message about perseverance.

682 683 684 686This city never ceases to surprise me. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the fall season has in store for me! Anyone have any more Boston suggestions? I’d love to hear from you! On Thursday, I review my dessert tasting at the well respected restaurant Deuxave. You won’t  want to miss it! Thanks for reading!

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Job Update #2- Taj Boston Pastry

In the past couple weeks at the Taj Hotel, I’ve been learning so many new things! I started training on the closing shift (2-10:30pm) which was a tough adjustment of my sleep schedule where I fell asleep at 8 or 9 to wake up at 3am. The closing shift is focused on night time banquets; this includes anything from holiday parties, award receptions or even weddings!

Since my day begins at 2pm, I try and wake up by 9:30 to go to the gym/eat breakfast/get stuff done before I take a 12:45 bus to work. Unfortunately, I never feel as productive on those days as when I open but it’s definitely given me more of a chance to go out at night and meet friends for a drink which is great! My schedule is ever-changing making my life totally refreshing- each day brings something new.

When focusing on banquets, we work at least two days in advance. On the day of an event, we typically only have to plate up the dessert and put their final touches on before pick up. What’s cool about banquets however is that the items we have to make is contingent on the guest! Some days it’s mini boston cream pies and another customer might was key lime tarts. I’ve also made tiramisu verrines, assortments of cookies, macaroons, cannolis, etc.

On the occasion that a wedding is happening in the hotel, the clients must buy their cake from us. They can get a dummy cake (fondant decorated Styrofoam) and sheet cakes (square cakes, plainly decorated to feed the masses) or they can just order a decorated cake. The most expensive cake I’ve seen ordered so far has totaled up to $3,000 for 100 guests! That’s $30 a plate per guest! If it’s a dummy cake, we often spend weeks in advance planning the decorations, shape, colors, execution, etc. of the design. Many hours of man-power go into making something spectacular which is why the cost is so high!

Check out some of my pictures below of some of the work I’ve been doing!
Hungry, yet?

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Caramel Whisky Verrine

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Lemon Meringue Tarts

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Midnight Torte

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Galaxy Chocolate

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Peach Cobbler

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Pecan Caramel Verrine with Candied Pecans

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Making Chocolate Cigarettes!

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Pile of finished cigarettes :]

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Apple Pie Macs: green apple gelee, caramel cinnamon ganache, brown butter crumble

Check back on Tuesday for a blog about some of my current book recommendations!

Twerkin’ at the Taj

So I landed a new job at the Taj Hotel in Boston! This is such a huge career move for me and I’m so happy that this landed in my lap. The Taj is a 4 star 4 diamond hotel so its SUUUUPER fancy. On my first day, a woman and her richy rich kids got off the elevator and I KID YOU NOT SAID, “Does anyone want to go to Tiffanys?” Wait wait, is that an option!? Those teeny bopper daughters just get to casually go to Tiffanys?! Oy, I grew up in a totally different world. They also have teeny tiny bottles of everything- Heinz ketchup, fancy jellies and honey’s, any type of condiments, you name it. I didn’t realize that they even made jars that small!

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces was founded in the 1800’s, the original being the Taj Mahal which almost everyone is familiar with! The Taj Boston used to be the original Ritz Carlton hotel so it’s swimming in history! The Taj only currently has three hotels in the United States (Boston, New York and San Francisco) but they have them all over the world! You could visit London, India, the Maldives, you name it! Of course, it’s at the cheap-o price of $350 a night for the cheapest room. But I get 10 days of free stay a year at the hotel! HOLLAAAA

But regardless, I’ve been having a blast at this new job. It’s a breath of fresh air and really creative. I feel like I’m actually trusted to make decisions about flavors, textures, recipes, etc. I’ve been trained thus far on the morning shift where I bake all the small pastries for continental breakfast, room service and any morning banquets or meetings. But then it’s followed by production work where I prepare the components of the plated desserts in the cafe! 458 459Every weekend, a high tea is served with a separate menu and on Sunday’s, brunch is served on the rooftop of the hotel where you can see the most beautiful view of the city I have ever seen! The Taj borders Arlington Street which overlooks the Boston Public Gardens and Boston Commons as well as Newbury Street which is like the Rodeo Drive of Boston! Such a great spot for people watching and really enjoying a great view of the city- although it comes at a cost! Typical brunch with champagne goes at $80 bucks a pop!! Plus, gratuity automatically gets added to your bill at the end of the meal so be prepared to pay a pretty penny.

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470However, the brunch menu is unlimited! Every week, we prepare a dessert buffet that’s differs from the last! Nothing ever stays the same! And of course, there’s a raw bar, garde manager items and a hot bar with all you can eat. YUMMMMMM. The dessert bar always has some type of cheesecake, cookies, shot glass item and martini glass items as well as anything else we dream up in the pastry kitchen! I figured I’d post some pictures of our desserts thus far below so be prepared to drool! Note: Not everything was made entirely by me but the pastry team! So excited to be a part of something great!

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Opera Cake!

Opera Cake!

Brown Butter Blackberry Tarts!

Brown Butter Blackberry Tarts!

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Burnt Honey Cheesecake with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Honey Gelee

Burnt Honey Cheesecake with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Honey Gelee

Keylime Torte

Keylime Torte

Midnight Chocolate Torte!

Midnight Chocolate Torte!

Cherry Chocolate Torte

Cherry Chocolate Torte

Oreo Cheesecake with Cookie Crust and Oreo filling on top!

Oreo Cheesecake with Cookie Crust and Oreo filling on top!

Cookies for VIP's:- from L to R: thyme sable with lemon curd, almond thumprints, orange sable, chocolate cookies with Dulcey chocolate drizzle

Cookies for VIP’s:- from L to R: thyme sable with lemon curd, almond thumprints, orange sable, chocolate cookies with Dulcey chocolate drizzle

Orange Mousseline with caramelized white chocolate crumble

Orange Mousseline with caramelized white chocolate crumble

Check back on Tuesday for another Post Grad blog about how I’m slowly but surely becoming a bad ass. ….Kinda. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!