You can't keep Atlantic City down for long.
New Jersey's world-renowned resort town may have taken a heavy beating from Hurricane Sandy last month, but organizers behind the star-studded Savor Borgata hope the annual culinary event, now in its fifth year, is both a return to the good times of old and the start of a new phase.
To ensure that, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa resort chef Stephen Kalt and executive pastry chef Thaddeus DuBois will join "Food Network" star Bobby Flay for a series of tastings and demonstrations that collectively serve as the grand finale to the resort's restaurant week Nov. 9 and 10.
DuBois took time out from his busy prep schedule to chat with The Huffington Post via email about Savor Borgata: An Evening with Borgata’s Culinary Masters, and why cake pops -- his specialty -- must just be the new cupcake.
The Huffington Post: What surprises do you personally have in store for Savor Borgata visitors?
Thaddeus DuBois: Well, if I told you what my surprises were for Savor, they would no longer be surprises! You’ll have to come and check it out firsthand.
Your "intimate lesson" on how to create cake pops sounds pretty amazing. Why are cake pops so hot right now? “Popcakes” or “cake pops” are popular because it’s neat to eat cake on a stick! I think they are a hot item because they tend to be smaller treats that you can let yourself indulge in –- many desserts are being baked this way lately including brownies and cheesecakes.
Are cake pops the "new cupcake," or better?
They are certainly just as popular as cupcakes were a couple years back –- and much more fun to eat because there is little mess. I think they will be trending for some time.
What's your favorite type of cake pop?
I love cake pops that have more than two components. My top pick would have to be a chocolate cake with caramel icing, chocolate chips and golden raisins. It might sound complicated, but when the flavors combine, it’s absolutely delicious.
What is it about the culinary offerings at the Borgata specifically which set it apart from other Atlantic City destinations?
Plain and simple, Borgata redefined dining in Atlantic City by bringing high-caliber, celebrity-chef restaurants to the market for the first time. The dining program offers something for every palette whether in one of the six acclaimed fine dining restaurants, casual options, or the award-winning buffet. No other culinary lineup compares to our chef roster of Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Geoffrey Zakarian, Michael Mina, Stephen Kalt and Michael Schulson.
What are the biggest misconceptions visitors have about the food scene and/or the cuisine that can be found in Atlantic City?
It’s not just a gambling city with cheap buffets! The culinary scene has exploded over the last few years with countless fine dining options, developing the city into a true destination that appeals to gamers and non-gamers alike. I’m proud to be a part of the evolution and the culinary roster at Borgata. Come and see, you won’t be disappointed!
What advice would you give to the first-time Savor Borgata visitor?
Visit all the vendors! Every participating chef offers a different dish from their restaurant with their own personal twist. It’s a one-of-a-kind event, mingling with chefs, sipping wine, and nibbling on fantastic food –- what could be better?
The Borgata Hotel & Spa is also hosting a series of Hurrciane Sandy benefit events. These include:
Wolfgang Puck Book Signing
Prior to Savor Borgata, between the hours of 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, Borgata’s Chef/Partner, Wolfgang Puck, will be available for book signings with the purchase of the cookbook “Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy” for $30. All proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross Southern Shore Chapter.
American Red Cross at Savor Borgata: An Evening with Borgata’s Culinary Masters
Borgata will welcome the American Red Cross Southern Shore Chapter at Savor Borgata on Saturday, Nov. 10 between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to accept monetary donations.
Red Cross Poker Tournament for Hurricane Sandy Relief
Borgata will host a charity poker tournament in its Poker Room on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 4 p.m. to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. A portion of the $140 buy-in will benefit the American Red Cross Southern Shore Chapter.