Broad Appetit – lessons learned

Petites Bouchées Booth

First of all, thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth: Jason aka Rvafoodie, wife Karen & son Jasper, Sketchy & Jennifer and their two little ones, Eugenio of Eating Video games, Messy chef – hope you introduce yourself next time but if anonymity is a rule that’s okay :), twitter friends, Brandon, Jason and the Olio folks, new friends and customers, and especially my blog readers – tickled you guys braved this scorching heat to sample my little bites. Also, thanks to Jenny of the Sweetest Thing Bakery dropping off some delicious treats for me to take home and try.  🙂

So why lessons learned? I did not get to eat a lot. 😦 And it was all my fault by letting the heat get to me. What I should have done was printed out a list of dishes that restaurants were serving to get my appetite rolling. Because of this, I missed out on University of Richmond’s crab, lobster and corn gazpacho, duck confit Bruschetta from Avenue 805…etc.

I guess you could also say that going into Broad appetit I had fixated on one dish: Thai grilled pork belly from Six Burner. And you know what, I devoured that plate – heat or no heat. How I wish I could have had six servings of that. 🙂

Regarding the macarons, they sold really well despite the hot and humid weather. In fact, much to my surprise the rose-litchi and matcha green tea sold out. I did make less of that flavor combination so I seriously underestimated the adventurous spirit of Richmonders.

Another disappointment was I was not able to join the dessert contest. I did not know I had to sign up for it and thought the judges would come by the booth. I even packaged some macarons specifically for that event. Oh well, maybe next year. 😦

The day before the festival I had been experimenting with how to keep the products cold. I left a carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting and a package of macarons on top of a bucket of ice out in the heat for 45 minutes. The cream cheese frosting softened, the macarons were okay. An idea started festering in my head when I felt how cold the bottom of the ice bucket was.

Cold air descends and heat rises.

So I took out the ice from the bucket and put it on top of a baking sheet and laid the baking sheet on top of the bucket. Stuck a thermometer inside the bucket. Voila!  The cream cheese frosting hardened, the temperature inside the bucket was 55F. My one mistake, I didn’t try this outdoors like I did the first experiment but decided to see what happens at Broad Appetit.

It worked!

The one caveat, some people thought we were out of products or were selling ice. 😀

But I consider this a breakthrough even though I’m sure other people have thought about this idea before.

If I find a way to keep my macarons cold even in 95F humid weather, I can certainly do Farmer’s Markets again.

And to everyone who have asked, I am trying to get my macarons into local gourmet shops, I’m just trying to find the right ones. If you know of a shop that would be a great fit, send me an email at info At petitesbouchees dot com, or you’re welcome to leave a comment!

16 thoughts on “Broad Appetit – lessons learned

  1. I too would love to see your macaron’s available in our local shops. Sheild’s market in the fan (across from Joe’s Inn) carries all kinds of local gourmet/unique treats. Next time I’m there I will be sure to tell them about your glorious little gems & how they MUST stock them.

  2. You always had the more genius side of our brain, Sis.. excellent work in keeping everything cool! You look absolutely adorable – I love your hair up like that!

    And I’m not the least bit surprised that you sold out – your macs are AMAZING.


  3. Your discovery of the ice on top the bucket made me smile. I love when I figure things out like that. I feel like the smartest person ever set on th earth. Congratulations!

  4. Sounds all fun. Congrats for a wonderful sale! Looks like you have lost some weight despite surrounded by food 😀 The heat helped, right?

  5. What a wonderful experience for you, Veron. It’s amazing what a bit of ingenuity will do!!! Lessons are some times harsh but well spent if something is learned. Kudos to you!!! I only wish I could have sampled your delights in person. Perhaps, next time.

    I don’t know how far you want your macarons to adventure out but my son just told me about a new cupcake boutique that opened in State College, PA. I hear they are on the lookout for local sources. (not sure how local they are seeking:) Here’s the link Hope this helps. I would LOVE to be able to experience your tasty morsels right around the corner!!!

    Thanks for sharing, Veron…

  6. Sounds like you did a great job managing in the heat. Congrats on the macaron sell out. Looks like a great time.

  7. Ah, sounds amazing! I really wish I could have been there…. But congrats on the success of your macarons! I wouldn’t have had any doubt they’d be a hit. 😉

  8. Surly somebody makes see thru insulated things to stack with an ice sandwich in the middle. That would be a contraption.
    Oh, well how about just take some pana-ramic photos and tape them around the ice buckets.
    … or play a recording: Rescue us macs, she’s trapped us in the ice buckets.
    Well, it’s early and I’m experiencing a wild dawning imagination.
    Sounds like a great broad appetit!

  9. Thanks everyone!!! The macarons did not sell out just the matcha and rose-litchi flavors, but it did sell very well considering the weather.
    Tanna- I had imagined that contraption myself!

  10. that sounds fun. i would have loved to drop by if i leave in your area… or better yet helped you in the setting up and selling hahha.. i love doing that… good luck on your distribution… can’t you do it online for orders?

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