In contrast to what she calls the "boring, delicious, plain" desserts she serves to diners at Macao Trading Co., pastry chef Victoria Howe is launching an underground bakery, the Chinatown Cake Club, later this month. "This is something I had the idea for a few years ago," says the 25-year-old chef. "I guess I just wanted an excuse to be able to bake as many things as I wanted and make people happy with it."
The bakery will be open in Howe's three-bedroom Chinatown apartment one Sunday a month beginning December 27. (She describes her tolerant roommates as "pro-cake.") Invited guests will visit for four hours in the late afternoon or early evening to eat as many sweets (served with coffee and tea) as they'd like for $10. Visitors can hang out, watch a movie, or read the paper while trying "more fancy, traditional stuff" from Howe's dessert repertoire, like Bavarian cream or opera cake "stuff I never get to make but always want to make," she says. The sweets salon could expand to include cocktails or feature short films or musical performances by Howe's friends. Join the mailing list and get your invitation by signing up at ChinatownCakeClub.com.