Pike Chocofest 2015: Sip, Savor and Swoon for a Good Cause

Pike Chocofest 2014

One of the sweetest events of the year is just around the corner – and we aren’t talking about Valentine’s Day! We’re getting ready to make mouths water at the seventh annual Pike Chocofest.

Crafted with beer and chocolate lovers in mind, Chocofest covers three levels of Pike’s Microbrewery Museum this Sunday, February 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. As you sip and savor your way through the event, stop by our table where you will find our delicious Mini Cherry Brioche with savory barbecue pulled pork. For the perfect bite, pair it with a sip of a sweeter, full-flavored beer like Pike Kilt Lifter.

In addition to welcoming nearly 100 food and drink purveyors, Pike Brewing Company is debuting its Chocolate Cask Beer Festival. This new section of Chocofest features about 20 breweries that will incorporate chocolate into naturally carbonated cask beer.

Tickets for Chocofest are on sale now for $50, which includes all the food you want, a commemorative tasting glass, 10 drink tickets, live music and discounted parking. All proceeds from this event benefit the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance (PSA), an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the waters of the Puget Sound. This year, Chocofest will also include the Save the Sound Valentine Store where guests can support PSA by buying treats for their loved ones.

Click here for tickets and more event details.

The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition

Figgy Pudding

We are spreading holiday cheer in more ways than one this year! The 28th Annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition is just around the corner, and we are excited to be part of this wonderful tradition. If anyone can get you into the spirit of the season, it’s our caroling team, The Baker’s (Dirty) Dozen!

Not only is Figgy Pudding Seattle’s biggest holiday music event, the competition provides tremendous support to the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank. Everyone is welcome to join us on Friday, December 5, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in Seattle’s Westlake Center as we sing our hearts out during one truly magical night. You can find our team at the corner of 6th and Pine. With your help, we will make it to the Figgy Main Stage to compete against the top caroling teams!

While The Baker’s (Dirty) Dozen warms up their vocal chords, practices scales and rehearses Christmas carols, cue up our Wintery Mix playlist below and take a moment to donate to the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank.

Sweet Week: Seattle’s Sweet Tooth Cure

Sweet Week

We’re pretty sure Hot Cakes creator Autumn Martin had visions of sugar plums dancing in her head when she dreamed up Sweet Week. With the structure of Restaurant Week in mind, she gathered the city’s sweetest eateries to highlight toothsome treats at $5 a pop from September 25 through 28. We couldn’t be more excited to join this delightful bunch.

Our creative pastry chefs get together each week to discuss and test new products. Lately they’ve been stirring around ideas for a new peanut butter-filled item. One sugar-laden afternoon, the recipe for our Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Cake was born.

“After being invited to participate in Sweet Week with so many other talented shops in the city, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase this new product,” says Production Manager Jane Cho.

Our Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Cake is our classic Mom’s Chocolate Cake layered with luscious peanut butter buttercream, resting atop a crunchy peanut butter chocolate crust and wrapped in rich chocolate ganache. This sinfully delectable dessert will be available in a three-inch size for Sweet Week and then in a six-inch and nine-inch size (without the crunchy peanut butter chocolate crust) through Halloween.

Stop by any of our cafés to try the Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Cake and then sample the other delicious confections around town!

2nd Annual Summer Supper & Farm Tour

Leslie Mackie's Vashon Island farm

The farm-to-table movement in Washington is as ubiquitous as blackberry brambles in the summertime and there’s no better place to see it in full bloom than Vashon Island! This farm-filled paradise a stone’s throw from Seattle is the perfect day-trip for food lovers. That’s why it is the venue for the 2nd Annual Summer Supper & Farm Tour this Saturday, August 9!

Join Leslie and the Les Dames d’Escoffier’s Green Tables team at the Vashon Island Farmers Market before heading on a private tour of Kurtwood Farms, home to a happy herd of Jersey cows and renowned for its small-batch artisan cheese. From there, visit Langley Fine Gardens, harvesters of some of the island’s best organic produce, and learn how they grow the perfect sun-ripened tomato. Wind down the day with a dinner of fresh, local food, wine and cocktails at Leslie’s home.

Proceeds from our Summer Supper & Farm Tour help fund food education programs at schools around the Puget Sound. Tickets are going fast, though! Click here to secure your spot and learn more about this event.

Open House Event: See Sodo Behind the Scenes

BBGA Open House

In conjunction with The Bread Bakers Guild of America (BBGA), we are proud to participate the 4th Annual International Guild Open House! Everyone is welcome to take part in this event that showcases the people and products that define Macrina.

The open house takes place this Saturday, June 21, from 2 to 5 p.m. at our Sodo locationLeslie Mackie and Jane Cho will take you behind the scenes at our bakery; sample some of our newly released breads, including the Raisin Pumpernickel, Pizza Bianca and Seeded Sardinian Flatbread; and share their baking tips and tricks. Attendees will also take home a Macrina Bakery 20th Anniversary tote bag and freshly baked loaf of bread while supplies last.

More than 51 bakeries across the country are participating in this open house event, which was created by the BBGA as a way for communities to connect with their local bakeries. For us, the open house gives the Seattle community an opportunity to experience the art and passion we put behind our products.

Comprised of industry professionals, educators, students, and home bakers from around the world, the BBGA formed in 1993 to shape the skills and knowledge of the baking community through education. Visit BBGA online for more information and events.

The Seattle Wine and Food Experience

The Seattle Wine and Food Experience

We are gearing up for the food event of the year! No, Thanksgiving hasn’t been moved to February. If you’ve ever wondered where exactly your food and beverages come from, The Seattle Wine and Food Experience (SWFE) is a can’t-miss event. In its sixth year, SWFE is a gathering of the Northwest’s best purveyors of food and drink all ready to sample their products and talk about their origins.

“What makes Seattle Wine and Food Experience unique in the marketplace are the experiences guests encounter,” says Jamie Peha, producer of SWFE.

Those “experiences” Jamie’s talking about?

Stop by our booth in Les Dames d’Escoffier Alley to sample our newly created Rye Crostini – not yet available in our cafés – piled with savory layers of corned beef, Manchego cheese, pickled onion and cabbage slaw.

Les Dames d’Escoffier Seattle, this year’s event beneficiary, is a wonderful non-profit organization of women leaders in the culinary world whose focus is on raising scholarship funds for women in the food, beverage and hospitality industries, while also supporting community outreach and local sustainable-agriculture projects. As a member of Les Dames, this year’s SWFE comes full circle for Leslie, making it all the more exciting.

Visit SWFE online for more event details and ticket information.

Helping Link: Fostering Our Diverse Culture

Macrina & Helping Link

Helping Link teaching an ESL class at our bakery. Photo provided by Helping Link.

We wholeheartedly embrace cultural diversity here at Macrina. Not only is this core value evident in the food we create, it’s exemplified by our employees. A large portion of our wholesale bakery and pastry teams began working for us shortly after moving to America from Vietnam.

Wanting to support our employees as they transitioned into their new lives, we teamed up with Helping Link. This nonprofit organization assists Vietnamese immigrants through a myriad of social services.

“We began working with Helping Link in 2009,” says Macrina Bakery co-owner Scott France. “We were looking for a way to provide ESL classes at the bakery for our Vietnamese employees, and Helping Link was able to come to the bakery to teach classes after work.”

In 2012 alone, the organization helped more than 1,000 participants access things likes employment, housing and childcare, and they provided classes ranging from citizenship to technology.

We are honored to be a sponsor of Helping Link’s 20th Anniversary Gala, which takes place on September 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mercer Island Community Center. Those wishing to purchase tickets to the Gala or provide a donation can do so here.

Our 20th Anniversary: Connecting to the Heart of Macrina

Leslie chats with Macrina customers during our Eat Real Food event on Wednesday, August 28.

Leslie connects with customers during our Eat Real Food event on Wednesday, August 28.

Leslie Mackie first opened the Belltown café in 1993 with a 10-year vision for her bakery. With a tremendous amount of ambition, dedication and community support, Leslie’s dream quickly blossomed into reality.

“The first 10 [years] were extremely busy (lucky us!) and hectic, as we were always challenging ourselves to do our best and tweak to improve our systems,” she says.

This week we’re celebrating 20 years of connecting with the community through food by introducing our Raisin Pumpernickel Loaf.

anniversary_bread_blog

“The Raisin Pumpernickel is a bread that I have wanted to do for a long time,” says Leslie. “I’ve wanted to use a local wheat and believe in the additional nutritional qualities of whole-milled flour.”

Featuring Williams Brothers Hard Red Winter whole grain flour, coarse rye flour, cornmeal, raisins, and pumpkin seeds, this bread is the perfect balance of sweet and earthy. Leslie incorporates some Macrina Casera starter in the recipe to connect it to the heart of our bakery.

Because of its starter, caramelized crust and dense crumb, our Raisin Pumpernickel has an exceptional shelf life of four days. Leslie recommends serving it thinly sliced with a bit of unsalted butter, mild triple-crème cheese or soft Brie.

Easily enjoyed year-around, we’re making this bread a menu staple. Find it at any of our cafés and take some of the celebration home with you.

“It has been a wonderful anniversary week,” adds Leslie. “I am very proud of all the staff and management team that keep this dream alive!”

The Feast of St. Macrina

We had such a great time at our annual Feast of St. Macrina event! Each year our family gathers in honor of the bakery’s namesake to bond over our shared love of great food and community. While St. Macrina the Younger’s actual feast day is today, we spent Tuesday evening unwinding over dinner and games.

After closing the cafés a little early, Owner Leslie Mackie, Savory Chef Elizabeth Hall, and Production Manager Jane Cho prepared an incredible meal for the entire group.

Group Dinner

A Macrina family dinner wouldn’t be complete without an amazing dessert. Summer Shortcake featuring our Shortcake Biscuit, fresh berries, and vanilla ice cream was the grand finale. You can find the recipe for this perfect summer treat attached to bags of our Shortcake Biscuits.

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Summer Shortcake Prep1

After dinner we split into teams for a rollicking relay race that included a beanbag toss, cupcake eating contest, and cake writing competition. The rain moved in at one point, but that didn’t stop us from having fun.

Toss Pair1

Cake Eating Comp2

There’s nothing like some friendly competition to bring our family closer. We really couldn’t ask for a better group of people to spend the day with. Thank you, Seattle, for giving us the afternoon off!

Cake Writing Group

Look for more photos from our 2013 Feast of Macrina event on our Facebook page.

Open House Event: See How Our Bread is Made

Interested in expanding your baking knowledge while sampling some of Seattle’s finest baked goods? We are opening our kitchen doors to the public this Saturday! Join us on June 29, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at our SODO location for the Bread Bakers Guild of America (BBGA) Third Annual Open House.

“[We’re] inviting our customers to taste fresh, artisan breads, tour our labor-intensive baking facilities, and ask professionals those questions to help solve baking challenges at home,” says Macrina Founder and BBGA Board Member Leslie Mackie.

More than 50 bakeries across the United States and Canada are participating in this event, which was created by the BBGA as a way for communities to connect with their local bakeries. For us, the open house is also an accessible avenue for our community to experience the art and passion we put behind our products.

Comprised of industry professionals, educators, students, and home bakers from around the world, the BBGA formed in 1993 to shape the skills and knowledge of the baking community through education.

For more information, visit the BBGA website or call 206-623-0919.