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How to Throw a Delicious Party that brings out EVERYONE’s Creative Side: the Master Dessert Chef Challenge

A year ago, I threw a **surprise**birthday bash for B. In typical “me” style, I wanted it to be

1) fun

2) memorable

3) delicious.

If you know B, be sure to wish him a Happy Birthday today!!

It was a wonderful team effort – I couldn’t  have pulled it together without the love of my friend who writes at alice eats in wonderland (who, while 7 months pregnant, faithfully went here and there to pick up and test things for the party) and mother-in-law!

I kept this secret for almost a whole year (which was SO, SO, hard) and the event evolved a lot. It made it easier that Alice’s baby shower was the next day, and in the same neighborhood, so B didn’t suspect that anything was going on as party things were going in and out of the house.

We did a mix of catering from The Capital Grille and made some tried-and-true favorites, like my baked nut and preserve brie.

Our wedding was characterized by fresh, farm-to-table food, and inspired by beautiful, textured asparagus (Sorellina in Boston also uses these, I later found out!), I decided I would use fruits and vegetables as centerpiece decor! 

Here are some friends of ours eagerly awaiting B’s arrival – he thought he was going to grab lunch with a couple guy friends, one of whom hadn’t seen the place where we were (a common area of an apartment complex in downtown Boston) and the gym which was conveniently located just off of the common room. 

The anticipation builds….

Here he is!! 

B’s two favorite foods are steak and salad, so we made sure to have that. We catered Capital Grille’s lobster mac and cheese which got RAVE reviews from all of our guests. We had a beautiful salmon with dill and lemon that people could top their salads with too. 

The baked brie, in all of its glory, garnished with mint. 

Our friends were so awesome – they came early and helped write signs beautifully and place them in wine corks to describe the dishes, carry food, move furniture, and they helped make it a phenomenal event!

Charcuterie & Cheese Board

B’s favorite flowers – blue hydrangeas. 


Once everyone had a chance to greet the birthday fellow, enjoy a delicious lunch, next was the real tour de force. Next to this vase of fresh basil lay platters of cookies, biscuits, madeleines, bowls of fruit, nuts, chocolate, and herbs, brownie bites, cheesecake slices, freshly zested lemons and limes, and sauces to make THE BEST DESSERT EVER in a Master Chef style challenge.

One thing I believe in is that EVERYONE is creative. People surprised themselves with their amazing creations, and it made my heart so full that everyone had such a fun time and learned something about themselves. <3

B makes a wish – these trick candles made it a little more challenging 😉 but the german chocolate raspberry cake his mom made was highly acclaimed and made with lots of love.

Guests at the party worked very diligently to make a dessert which would be scored by B, the judge, and had to be beautiful, creative, and tasty.

Some worked in teams – all hush-hush because it is a competition!

At last, the contestants lined up their creations, which they also had to name, gave a short presentation of their dishes, and awaited the results. 

Some even put a $$$value on their creation. 

Some were cute.


Some were paired and offered options….

Some were scientific….

Some told a story.

Some were funny!

This one was tasty.

The best tasting actually went to B, but prizes were won by the top 3 (not including B).

I was FLOORED by the amazing desserts everyone came up with – being the wife of the judge allowed me to taste-test everything too ;).

We were so happy our friends could come even though they were packing for a fun trip to France and were busy with getting a new house! 

The evening finished with a few of us at King’s Bowling, where B dominated. It was a very memorable party – and these aren’t even half of the photos, but I hope that it inspires you to bring a fun party vision to reality. We’re blessed with wonderful friends and family and there is no better day than the present to tell the ones you love that they’re terrific!


Happy Birthday, B!!!

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2 thoughts on “How to Throw a Delicious Party that brings out EVERYONE’s Creative Side: the Master Dessert Chef Challenge

  1. This was so memorable. The dessert contest was really fun, and very surprised to see so many that came out for this time! All these pictures are wonderful memories about the kindness, and care put into this kind of present. I hope to make the most out of the day and look forward to someone else’s special birthday coming very very soon! 😉

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