Here’s a recap of all the sugary excitement that went down at New York City’s first ever dessert festival.
New York City officially had its first all-dessert festival last week. Dessert Goals 2016 was the first of its kind and a huge success. The event was organized by two friends who were perplexed as to why no dessert fest existed: Miraya Berk, the founder of Pop Productions (a boutique events studio), and Liang Shi, creative director and experience designer of clients such as Forbes to Conde Nast.
The event was a sugar-fiends’ dream. With pop music throwbacks in the background, the festival allowed each excited attendee to have a designated hour and a half to try all the dessert they pleased. Each vendor churned out picture perfect creations for people to taste — and to photograph, of course — and each vendor was more than happy to talk about their creative process, how their dessert came to be, and what inspired them.
Aside from filling up on sugar, those that bought tickets to specific workshops were able to learn from the best experts in the dessert and social space. Dessert photo styling, tips on taking unbelievable food pictures and how to make a living off your blog or Instagram were just several of the workshops offered.
One thing that’s known about myself across the board, is that I love dessert. The words, “dessert first” have never rang truer with any other individual. With that in mind, it’s safe to say that Dessert Goals was one of the best days of my life as a New Yorker (I’m from San Francisco). Described as, “a day of celebration, indulgence, discovery and deliciousness,” this dessert fest now marks another honor: the day Chelsea Davis ate her weight in sugar. #sorrynotsorry.
As you enter Dessert Goals, you walk through The Hall of Affirmations, which includes signs such as, “Treat yo self” and “Life’s too short. Eat dessert first.” If you had any hesitation on whether or not you should eat as much dessert as possible, you didn’t after taking ten steps into the venue!
The event space was decked out to make it the sweetest experience possible. Inflatable larger-than-life doughnuts were floating around, old fashioned jars filled with classic candies adorned one wall, Instagram-worthy backgrounds were everywhere, and there was an excited buzz throughout the entire space. But maybe that was because everyone was also sugar-high?
In addition to 21 of the most innovative dessert vendors in New York, Dessert Goal also had a variety of really thoughtful additions to the event. Outstanding extras included: free candy at the candy shop; free French press coffee and lessons courtesy of Bodum and Intelligentsia; and — for all the bloggers, influencers, photographers and fellow dessert enthusiasts — an Instagram garden, which is exactly what it sounds like. This dessert oasis is specifically designed for snapping pics of your vibrant, over-the-top sweet treats, complete with various backdrops and prop-desserts whose purpose is to be photographed.
Those needing a palette cleanse could head to the roof top for a sugar break at the salt bar (indulging is all about balance) and an adorably hip vintage ice cream lounge presented by The Dobbins St. Vintage Co-Op. Skyline views, fresh air, giant ice cream-shaped pillows, and baby pineapple plants were just a few things that made the roof top extra special.
The carefully curated mix of vendors offered a huge range of dessert styles. From the epic 1950’s-style Hong Kong egg waffles from Wowfulls, stuffed with ice cream and topped with goodies like mochi, strawberries and pocki; and Mini Melanie’s opulent gemstone dessert truffles and decadent mini cakes; to Taiyaki’s fish shaped waffle cones stuffed with red bean and topped with matcha soft serve ice cream; and the always-classic, Cookie DO cookie dough mixed with whatever sweet extras your heart desires, there was something for every taste preference.
Heard of artisanal twinkies? Neither had we until we tried Jae NYC Eats’ Twinkie-inspired “Cakies” in flavors like halo-halo — Pandan, Jackfruit and Ube. This was a thrilling discovery! There was #BAONANAS’ banana pudding, which gave Magnolia’s Bakery a run for its money with its leche-flan inspired base with flavors that include lychee-rose with strawberry.
Bittles’ breakfast cake bites were another unique dessert that festival-goers enjoyed. These cake bites are infused with your favorite breakfast cereals and treats — like poptarts.
Perfect coffee pairing bites included the one and only, Doughnut Plant, which offered a variety of Fall inspired flavors such as candy corn, filled with corn pudding and good ol’ pumpkin spice. Also fabulous, were Joey Bats’ flakey, creamy, and rich Portuguese egg tarts.
For ice cream aficionados, Noona’s Ice Cream was scooping Korean-inspired flavors like salted peanut butter + banana caramel, toasted rice, matcha + dark chocolate and whiskey + bacon. In addition, Mochidoki was serving chewy, mochi-wrapped balls of ice cream in inventive flavors like mango Thai basil, black sesame and pumpkin cheesecake.
This year’s Dessert Goals sold out in a hurry. If you couldn’t snag a ticket this time around, at least now you know it’s totally worth it!
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