We all know that red roses are the queen of Valentine’s Day, and chocolate is king. If you read my blog, you know just how much I like chocolate. Although I never heard of them before this weekend, I am thrilled to introduce Sugar and Plumm, the Purveyors of Yumm!
Chef Pichet Ong spoke to our intimate group about the delicious creations they are whipping up. Perhaps best known as a judge on Top Chef: Just Desserts, award-winning corporate pastry Chef Ong is the whimsical creator behind the sweet and savory confections of Sugar and Plumm. He combines the fond flavors of his childhood with modern cooking techniques to create culinary offerings that are seasonal, pure, light, and delightfully experimental, yet nostalgic.
After introducing us to the brand, he was kind enough to treat us to their For The Love of Chocolate gorgeously packaged box of some of their finest chocolate creations. It is an amazing assortment of hand-crafted artisan chocolates with origins from around the world. This box included two white chocolate blueberry and six pure dark Mexican chocolate ganache. However, the pleasant surprises didn’t end there. Hidden below were chocolates with flavors and aromas consisting of raspberry, vanilla, coconut, hazelnut praline, jasmine tea infused ganache, ginger, milk chocolate and pure dark Peruvian. On top of allowing us to sample some of their finest chocolate creations, we were also give a pair of their brightly colored, delicate French macaroons. It was all I could do to keep myself from digging in immediately.
When I untied the ribbon and opened my brightly colored box, I was blown away by the impeccably pristine chocolates before me. They were almost too pretty to eat. Luckily, that would not stop me. What did stop me was the thought of my boyfriend waiting for me at home. There’s something incredibly romantic about fine artisan chocolates that makes it sinful not to share with a loved one.
On our anniversary, the day before Valentine’s day, I told my boyfriend I had a surprise for him. I told him to close his eyes and open his mouth. After a bit of trepidation, he complied, and boy was he glad he did. His face lit up from ear to ear as he savored his first bite of the dark chocolate ganache-filled heart. I sampled the white chocolate blueberry-filled heart. I’d never tasted anything so complex and exquisite. It was heaven. I was reminded of the first time blueberry wine touched my lips, and I had to have more. The combination of blueberry and white chocolate was pure genius. I forced myself to put the box away so I could savor these the little bits of chocolate heaven for a few days; I simply did not want the experience to end!
There was no way I could possibly ignore the fresh macaroons waiting the ultimate demise. Although there were two, I wanted the best of both worlds. As it’s rather impossible to split a macaroon, I simply bit half for myself and passed the other half to my boyfriend. We made long extended moans as we enjoyed these incredible indulgences, and that was just the vanilla macaroon. I repeated our ritual with the strawberry poppy-seed, and the moans of happiness only grew louder. The flavors transported me back to the beach with my parents snacking on strawberry Twizzlers.
It was amazing how incredibly nostalgic Sugar and Plumm’s confectionaries were. How could so much be contained in such a small morsel?
I was shocked to learn that Sugar and Plumm serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, and every craving in between. I was expecting a purveyor of sweets, but they create works of art from homemade ice cream and macaroons, to house-smoked salmon and Berkshire pulled pork, our team of master chefs, bakers, and chocolatiers are purveyors of all things delicious and delightful. The bake shop even makes everything handmade, from scratch. The only problem you’ll find is deciding what to order (and possibly that top button on your pants).
Although it’s too late to place an order for Valentine’s Day delivery, if you’re looking for that perfect way to show the special person in your life just how much they mean to you, this is a perfect for Valentine’s Day — Or any of the other 364 days of the year. The have gift boxes for every budget and an in-store experience you won’t soon forget! This Upper West Side spot with Parisian charm and a downtown vibe is sure to knock the socks off anyone who enters and will certainly not disappoint!
For more information, visit the on Facebook.
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Some of the strongest bonds you make in life are those shared with the coworkers you meet at your first job out of college. I remember my first week meeting one of the account directors who managed new business pitches. She was tall, gorgeous, fit, sassy as all hell and certainly knew how to dress to accentuate her sexiness.
From day one, she treated me like a kid — Like an intern. But, when I threw the sass right back at her, she elevated me in her mind to her equal and commented how we’d be good friends. I found her incredibly sexy and even had a small crush on her for some time. We continued to work together for a few years before I moved on to another agency, however, that didn’t mean we fell out of touch. Granted we saw far less of each other, but we still managed to find time to catch up either online or in person.
Since then, she’s left that agency and now works for a major radio broadcasting company. We’d been trying to meet up for cocktails after work for some time when she realized it would be really easy if she invited me to one of their concerts. She’d still be “on the clock,” but we’d get to hang and chat while taking in some awesome tunes. She sent me the calendar of upcoming performers and told me to pick a night.
We set plans to grab a quick drink before the Train concert so I could tell her all about my new man, CK. I marked my calendar, and as the date approached, I became more and more excited.
Then, days before the small venue concert, she told me to bring my man with me, however, there was a small change of plans. She apologized and told me she had to meet with clients, so she wouldn’t be able to grab a drink beforehand, but we could all go out after the show. “Sounds like a plan,” I replied.
That day, CK left work early and made his way home to change and drop off his bag. He met me outside my office, and we took the subway downtown to the venue. It was raining, so that didn’t help as we were trying to figure out where to go under an umbrella. We arrived just in time. I wasn’t able to find my friend, but soon enough, she found us seconds before the show started. She took us to the VIP section, and we settled in.
It was so good to see her. It’d been months since I’d seen her last, and she looked better than ever. Seeing her brought back a lot memories. We’d grown close over the two years we worked together. I came out after leaving the agency we worked at, and she was one of the people I decided to tell early on. She has a gay brother, so I knew she would be more than supportive. I had already talked to her quite a bit about CK, and she was thrilled with my new-found happiness.
As the concert began, my friend had to return to her clients to ensure they were thoroughly entertained. CK and I enjoyed each other’s company while we danced and bopped to the music. I was quite familiar with Train, but he wasn’t and neither was my friend. They both kept saying throughout the concert, “I had no idea this was Train!”
Let me tell you, they put on a good show. They audience was not the least bit energetic, which I’m sure is incredibly hard to perform for, but they did a stellar job! I spent most of the concert with my arms wrapped around CK from behind hugging him as we listened to the music swaying back-and-forth. We were being quite affectionate without making a spectacle of ourselves.
Afterwards, we all made our way to a little bar called The Macao Trading Co. We ventured downstairs, and the five of us cozied up to the bar for some cocktails and tapas plates. I felt a little awkward because I didn’t want to steal my friend away from her clients. I knew she had a job to do, and I didn’t want to interfere. But, I also knew, she wouldn’t neglect CK and I. She is a brilliant multi-tasker, I chatted a bit with one of the women on the walk to the bar, and we bonded when I learned we shared a common coworker/ex-coworker.
My friend ordered the group food and drinks to keep our bellies full and our spirits high. The food was AMAZING! I had a taste of everything, and loved/savored every bite! If you ever find yourself there, definitely be sure to try the mushroom and truffel croquettes. They are like heaven in your mouth!
When the two women were ready to call it a night, they said goodbye to my friend and made their way home. Finally, we could sit and relax and chat up a storm. CK and I were being affectionate, with my hand on his leg most of the night, but again, not drawing attention. I liked that about him. We could show we loved each other publicly without going over the top. It was interesting seeing him a bit on the quieter side. He’d met other friends before, but this time he was a bit quiet. When my friend started asking him more and more questioned, he opened right up, and they hit it off.
When CK excused himself to go to the restroom, of course we took the time to talk about him. She said, “I love him. I’d hang out with him outside you, and that’s saying a lot! He’s amazing!” I agreed with her and told her how amazing he really is. When I started to explain how well we hit it off and the conversations we’d had about our future, the smile on her face grew bigger and bigger.
It was amazing the information we covered while CK was in the bathroom. He was only gone about two minutes, but I managed to squeeze in so much gushing about him. As CK returned to the table, we were just turning the conversation to my friend’s love life. Apparently, she too found a man to make her happy. They’d been together for some time. I’d never see her so gaga for anyone before. She is a very powerful, successful, strong, beautiful woman who would intimidate the sh*t out of any man. Finally, she found a man who realized what he found and treated her right, all the while holding her attention. I was incredibly happy for her.
Not only were all three of us in love, but we were all at a bit of a crossroads in our careers. We were all faced with the decision to stay on our current path or shake things up and create a new path for ourselves. We all discussed our happiness with our current jobs, but fully discussed our lack of momentum and fulfillment in them. My friend told me I am too smart for my job gave both CK and I great career advice.
When the night was getting late, my friend was incredibly kind and picked up the entire tab. We went outside with our umbrellas, and she offered to share a cab with us. We rode north to CK’s apartment to settle in for the night. When we got out, I gave my friend a hug and said goodbye.
We got ready to go to bed, but not before fooling around a bit. We also talked about my friend, and he commented how much he liked her. I told him what she said while he was in the bathroom, and a smile lit up his face.
I was truly in love with this man. He meant so much to me. I had no problem picturing myself spending the rest of my life with him. I could imagine it all. No guy had ever treated me this way before. No guy put up with my sh*t like he did either. He was something special, and I realized this. So much so, I simply looked forward to spending more and more time with him, if not the rest of my life.
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