So I figured I should start telling you all about this side project I’ve had going on for the past few months. To begin with, you may or may not know (depending on how much attention you pay this blog), I used to work at a cafe where I did a whooooole lot o’ baking and cooking.
And sassing certain customers, but that’s a different story…
The place was called Creme Brulee Cafe, and it was run by Chef Barbara, a petite, blonde, and ambitious gal from Lithuania. When I interviewed with her over a year ago, I made a list of just a few of the whacked out items I had baked in the past. I told her since I pretty much had vegan baking down pat, it made traditional methods even easier for me. And of course, my enthusiasm for the kitchen made me an easy sale.
On my first day there, I brought Barbara some of my Stout Brownies to try, just so she could see that I’m fo’ realz. And then she told me to make a batch for the pastry case. That was the first of many proud moments I would have with Creme Brulee Cafe.
Before the place had to shut down back in March, I gained a slew of experience. I worked food and wine festivals, helped with catering and private dinners, baked a ridiculous amount of holiday desserts and special order cakes, twinked and developed recipes, learned how to make a serious French Onion soup, macarons, and of course, creme brulee.
It also turned out that Barbara and I have a penchant for drinking while cooking. Nothing feels more natural than trying a new Zinfandel while chopping onions and seasoning sauce. Special events always meant we would somehow acquire plenty of wine or beer to fuel our personal little foodie parties. We talked about local restaurants, made fun of the weirdos and yuppies, and exchanged our most screwed up stories. The saddest aspect of Creme Brulee shutting down was the loss of these occasions.
But we’re fixing that.
See, many moons ago, Henry asked me a cooking question, as he often does. He wanted know about incorporating wine into a doughnut filling… I like when he asks me these kinds of questions. I mentioned it to Barbara at work, and we let the thought slide away, as we had other things that needed to be done. A couple months after Creme Brulee was no more, Barbara and her hubby were having a party at their house. Of course, I was helping a bit with the food. I kneaded and rolled some flat bread dough for Barbara to put on the grill. Glasses of wine in our hands, she rehashed the doughnut idea. I was hesitant about starting a business venture. I put it on the back burner again, and continued looking for jobs and being disappointed. Then she called me about a catering gig for the 4th of July. A former customer of Creme Brulee missed the food and wanted our services. When it was all over, I was struck by how much money we could make in a single day, just providing food for a private party. Even if we only did this once in a while, it would be nice to get paid for doing something I enjoy again.
So now we’re working on our new persona, The Drunken Doughnut. It’s a private chef service for parties of four or more. We cook for you in your home, offer lessons, wine pairings, and crass humor if you’re so inclined. Our specialty of course, is drunken doughnuts– doughnuts with boozed up fillings and dips. Our menu and website are still in progress, but we do have a video up! I guess you could call it a tribute to the old business, Creme Brulee Cafe, because it’s a lesson on how to make creme brulee.
It’s so amateur it hurts.
Still worth it.