Friday, October 12, 2007
To commemorate the first anniversary of our New York office in its current space, we decided to think big -- a giant scale-model cake of the entire block-long building. Our facilities manager, Laura Gimpel, and I came up with a plan to construct this tasty treat and serve it at last Thursday's anniversary celebration.
Our first step was to use Google Earth and Street View to get aerial views and photos of the building. Spanning an entire city block, the massive structure was originally constructed in 1932 to house the Port Authority of New York; today, it's Manhattan's second-largest building in square footage. Next, our pastry chef, Danita Holt, drew up the blueprints. After a few weeks of developing the plans, it was time to start pouring the foundation. The actual production took four days, with seven of us (two sous chefs, two pastry chefs, our executive chef, a line cook, and me) working on it. In total, we used 630 eggs, 105 pounds of sugar and 20 pounds of butter. The finished product was five feet long, three feet high and two feet wide. Now that's a lot of cake!
Perhaps even more challenging, we had to make sure there was no waste -- every last bite had to be eaten. The day after the celebration (when we did make a sizable dent), we served cake 'donuts' for breakfast. We got even more creative for lunch and offered an anniversary cake trifle and an amazing Oreo-infused anniversary cake pudding. Throughout the day, we put platters of leftover cake in the micro-kitchens, game room and library. The last of our creation was consumed on the balcony on Friday night around 7 p.m. by a group of hungry engineers.
This was one of the most memorable projects I've worked on so far. I can't wait to see what we do when our office turns two.