Approaching the end of the Wine + Food Fest Saturday night, a major sugar rush is just what many tired attendees needed. A young crowd turned out to the tents for Bubbles & Sweets, one of the weekend’s most popular events. It was a chance to get to know the sometimes under-appreciated chefs behind the city’s most decadent desserts. The top chefs seem to get all the love, while their sweeter counterparts are often ignored. But not Saturday night.
A candy theme was evident throughout the big tent, with bright colors and colorful centerpieces setting the tone. Guests were greeted by two lollipop-shaped ice luges spitting out Firefly cocktails, while in every corner of the tent, other cocktail samples (think Van Gogh, Kahlua) were being passed out by some of the city’s star bartenders, like Coast’s John Aquino. A “bubble bar” in the center of the tent offered up a wide variety of champagne for guests to try.
But enough about the booze. The city’s very best pastry chefs had tables throughout the tent filled with more delicious treats than Willy Wonka’s factory — it’s true. Lindsey Cooke of the Fat Hen had an amazing chocolate and raspberry eclair, Lauren Mitterer had a warm apple and cheddar pocket pie, and Charleston Place’s Christopher Ryan had a mango pound cake with citrus butter cream and avocado coulis. We even tried lavender chocolates and a bubblegum and cherry soda float. Needless to say, after sampling all this goodness, we had some major salt cravings ... and a slight stomachache.
Thankfully, Hot Sauce was there to get our minds off the wooziness and get us focused on burning those calories. The place quickly turned into a dance party as the band played hits from the likes of Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, and Rihanna. From the dance-friendly tunes to the super-sweet cocktails to the beautiful desserts, it was definitely the stuff of most girls' fantasies, though the dudes were certainly enjoying themselves as well. Particularly at the packed cigar bar outside.