Well, fourth year’s the charm. Yes, that’s right, FOUR YEARS of dessert showcases. Actually, to clarify, Nikki has attended for the last four years; I had a retreat for my job last year that unfortunately coincided with the weekend of the showcase. So this was technically my third year in attendance. Still bitter I couldn’t be at two places at once.
Let me backtrack to how this tradition began. It was freshman year. Nikki received a Groupon email about the 2010 New England Dessert Showcase that was to take place at the Westin Copley Hotel in Back Bay. It sounded too good to be true. But it was freshman year and we really didn’t have anything else to do over the weekend besides homework (amiright Nikki?!) (we were both much less involved at the time…).
Ironically enough, the Showcase coincided with Yom Kippur that year. So not only did we not fast that day, we pretty much did the polar opposite and completely gorged ourselves shamelessly with seemingly endless upscale, sugary treats.
Best Jews ever.
So that was the start of this wonderful tradition. Needless to say, this experience obviously made the “Freshman Successes” list (Yes, it is true, I do have a Word doc titled ‘Freshman Mistakes’ saved on my laptop, which also happens to have an accompanying list of ‘Freshman Successes.’ I’m thinking of passing it down to freshmen once I graduate in May. Or publishing it. We’ll see.)
Sophomore year is a funny story. This second year, the Dessert Showcase did not coincide with a Jewish holiday that involved fasting. Thank god. Not sure why Nikki or myself did not think to check the location of the event (sophomore year mistakes?!); we just assumed it was at the same hotel in the same ballroom as the previous year. So that was mistake #1.
Mistake #2 was when we took a cab for about 45 seconds around the corner to the Back Bay Sheraton (if you’re familiar with the area at all, you should know the two hotels are literally around the corner from each other). I had a dumb phone at the time so we were relying on Nikki’s beloved Blackberry (RIP) to direct us and it just was not working. Getting frustrated, we impulsively got in a cab figuring the driver would know how to get from the Westin to the Sheraton.
In retrospect, I’m pretty sure he tried to just tell us how to walk there but we were too confused and dazed to function on our own. So the cab took us around the corner and we presumably paid probably $2.00 for the ride (of which $1.50 was probably just an initial rate). Pathetic. In any case, we made it to the desserts AND THAT’S WHAT COUNTS.
I’m going to skip year three because I was not there. I was instead in NH on a CSC Program Manager retreat eating crappy camp food (but s’mores totally made up for it).
This past weekend, Nikki and I went to the 2013 New England Dessert Showcase. And at least we learned from our mistakes. This time, we checked the address ahead of time—which was a good thing because it was at the Seaport Westin this year, much further away. Also, instead of taking the T for 45 minutes and having to transfer once to the red line and a second time to a bus, we cabbed it. But not only did we cab it, we tried Uber for the first time which was quite an experience. If you’ve never tried Uber, I would recommend it—the cars are much nicer and we had a lovely, chatty driver who told us all about his diabetes on the way there.
Unlike past years, this year’s event did not seem to have some sort of record-breaking dessert (freshman year there was a record-breaking Boston cream pie, sophomore year I recall a record-breaking cannoli). But similarly to the other years, we completely stuffed ourselves until we had to sit down and digest. And Instagram.
There are baking demos each year by the local chefs. Dessert and a show! If only my favorite Food Network stars had made an appearance…
We agreed the best dessert was the molten lava cake from Chart House, warm and gooey on the inside, topped with crunchy toffee bits and a drizzle of chocolate fudge. In a close second place: delicious, rich mini chocolate mousse cakes from Finale.
For the record, I am completely aware that, as a nutrition major, this is not the healthiest of activities in which I could be partaking. But life is all about balance, and, once a year, I’ve come to accept this. In addition, I ran the BAA Half Marathon the following day–so let’s just consider this time as necessary carboloading shall we?
Nikki—just because we graduate this year doesn’t mean we have to stop attending these events. In the words of Miley, “we can’t stop, and we won’t stop.”
Here’s to many more years of fun foodie traditions!