Monday, November 24, 2008

Behind the scene of my macaron's debut at Brooklyn Flea Market

Box of assorted macarons setFirst of all, thank you to all who came to the Brooklyn Flea Market yesterday to support us. I also want to say thank you so much to Robyn, Tina and Serious Eats for the shout-outs and supports. For Kathy, I don't even know what to say to her. Words cannot express our gratitute to her! She mentioned us on her blog and willingly came to the market with us, since the set up began at 7:30 am until the end of the day at 5 pm. She is really Godsend :D I'm very lucky to meet a lot of wonderful people!

Anyway, here is the story. My husband and I woke up at 4:45 am, after only sleeping for less than 2 hours. We started to pack everything that we needed to bring to the market. Even though we tried to do it quickly, we didn't leave home until 5:45 am. So, I called Kathy at 6 am to let her know that we were running late, since I told her the day before that we would pick her up at 6:15 am. Sorry again Kathy!

On the way to Manhattan, we heard the news that Holland Tunnel was closed due to maintenance work. So, we had to take Lincoln Tunnel to get to Manhattan, which meant a little detour. Finally we arrived at Kathy's place and went to Doughnut Plant to get breakfast. From there, we went straight to the market.

Doughnut Plant: Hot chai Doughnut Plant: Vanilla bean doughnut
Hot chai and Vanilla bean doughnut

Doughnut Plant: Chestnut cake doughnut Doughnut Plant: Roasted chestnut doughnut
Chestnut cake doughnut and Roasted chestnut doughnut

When we arrived there, my husband went to check in while Kathy and I waited in the car. At that time (around 7:30 am) only a few vendors were there. He came back to the car and said that we needed to get some weights to hold the tent since it would be windy. So, we went to Walgreens to get some gallon-sized bottles of water and then went back to the market. My husband went inside the market to set up the tent while we waited in the car with the heater's on :-) BTW, the temperature outside was about 30F at that time.

Brooklyn Flea Market at 7:30 am Brooklyn Flea Market at 8:30 am
Brooklyn Flea Market at 7:30 and 8:30 am

After reading the instructions step-by-step and struggling for more than 1 hour, my husband finally finished setting up the tent. This was his first time ever doing this, so I was very proud of him, thanks honey! By this time (around 8:30 am) more vendors had come. After the tent was ready, we uploaded everything from the car and started to set up the booth. It looked very nice! The tables were covered with red tablecloths and on the front table we put the menu (that has our logo made by Jessie, a very talented and nice person), a display tray, boxes of macaron set and a box filled with some samples. On the back table, we put the remainder of the samples and the packaging. We kept the rest of the macarons in the cooler, even though I didn't think we needed to do that considering the temperature that day was only between 30-40F. I was bundle up and put warmers on my body, hands and toes. These really helped me to stay warm. Thanks R for recommending that warmers.

My husband setting up the tent
My husband setting up the tent

The booth - front view The table set up
The booth and The table set up

It's me again! It's Kathy again!
Me and Kathy

Then the market officially opened at 10 am. I was super excited, the day was finally here! The first customer came and we started giving away sample. She loved the macaron and decided to buy 1 box of the assorted macarons. She said that she was one of Robyn's blog reader. Then the second customer came and said that her friend could come and sent her to get the macarons, wow! She said that her friend found out about us from a food blog, but she was not sure what. She said it was "passion something", wait a minute, it must be Kathy's blog -- A Passion for Food. Then more and more customer came, some were the market visitors and some were bloggers who are Kathy's, Robyn's and Serious Eats reader. So, thanks again guys!

When lunch time came, we decided to support other vendors and bought pizza from Pizza Moto and huarache from Fernando Martinez (one of the Red Hook vendors). The pizza was delicious, especially since it came straight from the oven and was still piping hot. The huarache was great, however it got cold fast, since the weather was just like inside the refrigerator.

Brooklyn Flea: Pizza Moto - pizza with tomato and mozzarella Brooklyn Flea: Fernando Martinez from Red Hook Park - huarache
Pizza with tomato & mozzarella and Huarache

The day went by so quickly, by 3:30 pm only 7 macarons left (6 chestnut with green tea and 1 passion fruit). I brought in about 350 macarons, sold 50% and gave away 50%. I was very happy, considering the weather was cold and this was the first time ever, yay! :D I was afraid that people would be disappointed with the texture of the macarons since they were not at the "room temperature". Fortunately everybody said that they liked the macarons (wait until they got home, it'd be even better!). This was definitely the challenge of selling macarons outdoor when it was cold.

The cooler The left over
The macarons at the beginning and at the end of the day

At 4 pm we decided to wrap up and went home. We stopped by at Kampuchea to have dinner and Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar for dessert. The hot noodle soup was perfect to warm us up, the cake was perfect to put a smile on my face. We finally said goodbye to Kathy, she declined our offer to drive her back to her place since it was only 1 block away from Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar.

Kampuchea Restaurant: Watermelon juice and Lychee fizz Kampuchea Restaurant: Pineapple coconut juice
Watermelon juice, Lychee fizz and Pineapple coconut juice

Kampuchea Restaurant: Seared sweetbread Kampuchea Restaurant: Seared monkfish liver (close up)
Seared sweetbread and Seared monkfish liver

Kampuchea Restaurant: Bwah moun Kampuchea Restaurant: Duroc pork katiev
Bwah moun and Duroc pork katiev

Kampuchea Restaurant: Chicken katiev Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar: Tristar strawberry milk, Cereal milk and Salty pistachio caramel - sample
Chicken katiev and Tristar strawberry milk, Cereal milk & Salty pistachio caramel soft serve - sample

Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar: Chocolate chip cake Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar: Dulce de leche cake (close up)
Chocolate chip and Dulce de leche cakes

I wouldn't lie, I was very tired, especially after only sleeping for 4-5 hours everyday this past 2 months and only 2 hours this last 2 days. However, it was all worth it when I saw how happy people were when they ate the macarons. The most memorable moment for me was when a little girl came and I offered her a sample of the macaron. She chose the chestnut with green tea, which happened to be mine & Kathy's personal favorite. I could see from a far that she loved it. A few minutes later she and her parents came back and bought 2 boxes of the assorted macarons!

I will leave you by saying THANK YOU again to everyone who has helped making my macaron's first debut a very successful one. We will be back again next Sunday, I hope that the weather will be nice. BTW, Kathy has offered to help me again, isn't she an angel? :-)


Itzy Bitzy Patisserie

Brooklyn Flea
Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School
357 Clermont Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Doughnut Plant
379 Grand St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 505-3700

78 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 529-3901

Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar
207 2nd Avenue, 13th Street entrance
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-0031


Saturday, November 22, 2008

My macaron's first debut

I told Robyn, Tina, Kathy and Carol at the end of August when I asked them and several other people to become my taste testers that I planned to start my macaron business before Thanksgiving. Luckily everything went as planned and I can keep my promise :-)

So the day is finally here! Tomorrow (Sunday, November 23, 2008) will be my macaron's first debut to the public. I will be at the Brooklyn Flea to sell the macarons as well as give away some samples. Here are the flavors:
- Chestnut with green tea
- Chocolate caramel pecan
- Coffee
- Passion fruit
- Pistachio
- Pumpkin

itzy bitzy patisserie: Macaron flavors for November 2008

Kathy will be there too, she is such a terrific lady! She offered to help me without me asking for it, what a wonderful friend. When you are in the area, please come to see us. Robyn said that she will be there too. Unfortunately Tina is sick, so I'm not sure if she will be able to come. I didn't know them before this, even though I have been following their blogs for a while. However since then, they have become part of my macaron journey and most importantly my friends.


Itzy Bitzy Patisserie

Brooklyn Flea
Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School
357 Clermont Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The surprise gift from Chef Pierre Hermé

As I mentioned in my previous post, on the second day of class we got a wonderful surprise from him. Unfortunately, I could not reveal what it was before. However after I saw the picture of it in his catalog as well as in here, I decided to post some photos that I have.

I remember Jacquy jokingly said that PH will be surprised to find out every bakeries in here will have this dessert in December. The dessert is called Agapé which consists of gingerbread, winter fruits and lemon mousseline, topped with caramel glaze. It tasted fantastic, perfect flavor combination!

Without further do, here are some photos of Agapé.

Pierre Hermé: Assembling Agapé Pierre Hermé: Assembling Agapé
Assembling Agapé

Pierre Hermé: Agapé (close up) Pierre Hermé: Agapé (sliced another view)

Also, back in September 11, 2008 PH released his newest book which is titled Macaron and opened his newest store as mentioned here. This store focuses only on macarons and chocolates, do you want to take a peek?

Last but not least, here's the photo from one of the best days of my life.

Pierre Hermé: I was receiving the certificate
Pierre Hermé and me


Pierre Hermé Paris

French Pastry School
226 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 726-2419


Did you vote?

Today is the election day, so please don't forget to vote!

Now I leave you with this special red-white-blue macarons that I just made this morning, enjoy!

Home Baking: Litchi ganache macarons
Red-White-Blue Macarons