Part I (of 2): Chef Maeve

While my photos are few, I swear I didn’t photoshop Chef Maeve into my kitchen. She was really there! It happened. And oh my, it was even better than I could have dreamed.

Let me take you back.

My first connection to Chef Maeve started last summer in La Jolla, CA, without my even knowing. Just like every lunch-break, I wandered over to a quiet park, tucked a few blocks away from my office, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is the perfect distance to get some exercise, but not too far to break a sweat in work clothes. I always sit under these enormous Gold Medallion trees, that provide a welcome canopy of shade during the summer.  But unlike every other day, and to my surprise, my table was already occupied.

My mom, who had come down for a quick trip to San Diego, my husband Fabien, and a large box, filled with fresh pastries, sat waiting for me. Talk about my perfect “lunch”. We lined up a pastry-sampling buffet on the picnic table, including six different flavors of cupcakes, eclairs (that included edible glitter), and an enormous chocolate-swirled morning bun.

Oh my, the cupcakes. I can’t even describe them, other than they were the best cupcakes I have ever tasted. Which is saying a lot, since cupcakes are such a thing in America. These were moist and full of flavor, without being too sweet. So good in fact, I called the the baker’s directly.

Enter Sugar & Scribe Bakery.

“So you want all our secrets, eh?” We compromised with one question: “If I try to make my own cupcakes, should I be using butter or oil?” In answering the question, the representative also gave a little background about the owner of the bakery.

Enter Chef Maeve.

Irish. Badass. Successful Bakery owner. Food Network Champion.

At this point, I had not yet seen the Food Network Holiday Baking Championship and was still too focused on cupcakes. Typical. I thanked them for their advice and before hanging up mentioned that the definition of cupcake should read: “Go to Sugar & Scribe Bakery and see for yourself.”

Fast-forward a few months later.

This past Fall, Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship 2015 was re-airing. And I was definitely watching. Chef Maeve was my favorite from the beginning. I loved her personal style, her creative flavor combinations, her beautiful bakes, and most of all, her humor. She was hilarious. And I can confirm, she is just as hilarious in real life.

On the final winning episode, her business, Sugar & Scribe, was mentioned. And then it clicked for me. I had that feeling one gets when all the information is (and has been) in front of you all along. I was rooting for her all along, but I should have been rooting for her as a loyal neighbor, too!

So Chef Maeve’s cupcake is my definition of the perfect cupcake. It was pretty cool to know that I had eaten something baked by Food Network’s baking champion. I immediately started following @chefmaeve on Instagram.

Fast-forward again. This time just a few weeks.

@chefmaeve posts an opportunity on her Instagram and website. An opportunity that turns out to be life-changing for me. Finlandia Butter created a sweepstakes, where the winner would get the chance to have Chef Maeve come to their home, and teach them how to bake something using Finlandia butter. I entered the sweepstakes within seconds of reading about the opportunity. And of course, I asked for a lesson on how to make the perfect cupcake.

…stay tuned for the Part 2 of my story with Chef Maeve!

Coming next week on Sweet as a Bee.

 

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