Mother's Day is Sunday. We've rounded up all the places to take mom for brunch, but if you're still scrambling to get your wifey the perfect gift that says, "Thank you for going through the miracle of birth and raising kids with me," or are simply looking for a way to relax with the little ones the day before Mother's Day, DB Bistro Moderne has got you covered.
Pastry chef Jerome Maure has brought back the annual Junior Pastry Academy after its inaugural success last year. Maure will teach kids the art of baking through an interactive lesson filled with sugar, dough, and everything nice. Moms need do absolutely nothing besides sit back and watch their little ones get a taste of domesticity -- while they enjoy a signature cocktail and selection of Daniel Boulud's favorite canapes. We chatted with Maure about the event and how to best teach younguns about making sweets.
The $85 price per child for the class includes one parent chaperone, who will be pampered with DB Bistro bar classics such as their white cosmo (St. Germaine, vodka, white cranberry, and lime juice) or grapefruit blossom (St. Germaine, gin, and grapefruit juice). No need to steal your mini-me's cookies once class is over, because you'll be full from the Parmesan baskets filled with herb goat cheese, house-made pâté de champagne, and seasonal arancini. Leave the cookies for the kids.
Besides going home with cookies, each child will walk away with his or her own chocolates, apron, photo with chef Maure, and special diploma of achievement for learning the importance of following a recipe. The recommended ages are 5 to 10, and kids can bring their friends ($55 for each additional child) or make it a double mommy date ($30 for each additional parent).
New Times: Where did the idea for the Junior Pastry Academy come from?
Jerome Maure: Last year we held the first Junior Pastry Academy in the spring. The kids, and even adults, had a fun time and learned a lot about decorating and baking, so we thought, Why not bring it back?
Baking is harder than cooking. What methods will be used to teach the youngters the skills and details that go into the process of baking?
The kids will learn how to follow a recipe, the importance of measuring and precision, and techniques to decorate their favorite treats. Of course, I will be teaching them how to decorate cookies and pastries -- the funnest part!
What goodies will be taught/made?
Each junior baker will have the chance to prepare cookies from mixing ingredients together -- to rolling out the dough and finally decorating. Bakers will then dabble in chocolate while they are taught how to dip strawberries and practice the art of patience while they dry. As a gift for Mom, the junior bakers will have a final lesson on making creative works of art with gum paste and presenting them on canvas to give as gifts.
What tips can you offer not just kids learning to bake but also premature bakers?
Many pastry chefs will tell you that knowledge of each ingredient holds the key, along with precise measurements and patience for each plate. When you are starting to learn, use the recipes each time no matter how many times you might know it, always measure with the utensils required, and follow the recipe step by step.
What's the hardest/most important thing about baking, and how can you overcome/perfect it?
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Patience -- being able to continuously whip the egg whites to a stiff peak or fold in the meringue for a mousse or waiting that last minute in the oven for that soufflé wouldn't be possible if patience was easy. I find that keeping yourself organized throughout your steps beforehand will help pass the time quicker. The more you practice the dish, the quicker and better it will get even if you make a mistake.
The Junior Pastry Academy takes place this Saturday, May 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at DB Bistro Moderne. Costs is $85 per child and includes one parent chaperone. Tax and gratuity are additional. To purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha