“Come with me to The Pierre,” my boss, Kiwi Collection founder and CEO Philippe Kjellgren, suggested as we stood in the cold rain after a meeting. Executive Pastry Chef Morgan Larsson had made some of his infamous, and decidedly authentic, Swedish treats and he was being photographed for a local newspaper in Sweden with Philippe. I suspected a trek uptown would involve traffic and the possibility of being late for my afternoon meeting, but I also suspected that we’d go behind the scenes in The Pierre’s kitchen and that was not to be missed.
My suspicion was correct. Upon entering the Pierre’s elegant lobby, whose subtle smell of flowers (courtesy of Molton Brown candles) was a warm welcome from the rain, we were greeted by PR maven Nora Walsh who escorted us “through the back of the house” and into the hotel’s kitchen. The first thing I noticed was a wooden rack of neatly hanging coffee tags and instantly thought of how Coco Chanel, an early guest of the hotel, ordered her morning coffee.
Before I could poke around any more, Chef Larsson emerged with a tray of Swedish confections – we all squealed in delight. He made Kardemumma Langd, with more butter than anyone should be able to legally consume; Kanelbulle a.k.a. cinnamon buns; and Semlor with a marzipan filling, a puff pastry that is eaten once a year during Lent. It took a ridiculous amount of restraint to patiently stand by as the photo shoot took place. All I could think of was the moment I’d get to sample them all.
Not surprisingly, and true to The Pierre’s M.O., we were next escorted into the Two E Bar and Lounge where we ordered tea and waited for the delivery of our precious cargo. One bite and I declared Chef Larsson my new best friend. While we savored his creations, Chef confirmed he’d be adding them to the Afternoon Tea menu, which is offered from 3-5 p.m. daily.
If tea isn’t your thing, although it should be now with the new menu additions, Two E will be serving Mad Men-inspired cocktails during the duration of the show’s fifth season, premiering March 25, 2012. Fans of the show will surely remember when Don Draper temporarily relocated and worked out of his hotel suite at The Pierre. And if you fancy yourself a drink slinger in addition to a drink taker, check out the upcoming Mixology Class with innovative cocktail creator Sachin Hasan on March 20, 2012. Guests will not only learn how to mix classical and seasonal libations, but will receive the recipes and mini ingredients to continue the joy of mixing back at home.
Turns out I was late for that meeting, but all was forgiven when I walked in with a to-go box of the Swedish delights to share.