If you like it then you shoulda..

Hello!

I find myself saying "It's been quite some time!" maybe a bit too much. So, it's time to put a ring on it. Blog-wise...I mean. Officially official. (Cue the undeniable chuckle that follows as you make sense of the title..right? pls laugh). I'll be coming up with a posting schedule soon, and will keep y'all right in that loop. 

These past few months have been buzzing with opportunity, dessert, growth, and maybe a few less mental breakdowns than the months prior  ...I call that success, people!

But, let's be serious.

Whisk has taken me on a whirlwind of a journey, and I've got a feeling that she's got many more tricks up her sleeve. Totally ready though, and looking forward to the challenges ahead. I wanted to pop up on your busy AF newsfeed to plop my most recent creations and updates in here-and I want to start with my absolute favorite.  It's the video that I worked on with Tyler. You know, Tyler Murgo, the one who's photos fill my feed (the nice ones at least, I admit to some not so great ones being mine, hi I'm learning). This video was probably one of the most fun things that Tyler and I have gotten to work on together. We locked ourselves inside and talked about lighting, cake, and my ever so awkward concentration faces for the length of shooting time. We laughed, there was only one breakdown, and then we laughed again. I'm so grateful to have such a talented person in my life, and I still can't believe his insane amount of skill behind a camera, behind a computer screen, and as an artist. I invite you to watch the video, and let us know what you think! You might've seen it as my original post a bit back, but I really think that it needed to pop back up, just to show off what this guy can do and get you craving some cake! If you're in the business of looking for a creative spin on your business (or life) in the form of film or photo, I recommend no other than this insanely gifted individual. He's working on some really cool things, and you'll see his name coming up more often in the scene, so grab him while you can- I can honestly say there's no comparison. 

Along with that, I've been baking up some type of magic in the kitchen. I'm constantly taken aback by the creativity that fills my inbox. I have customers who have visions, and some who let me take the reigns- and both are so exciting. It's graduation season, and the start of wedding season, so my time has been spent focusing on how to best serve my clients and give them the most personal experience possible. I've met some insanely amazing people and made connections that will hopefully last long past the cake being sliced. I'll add some recent photos in here (a mix between shots from myself and Tyler as well), and you should most definitely check out Whisk's instagram for the most recent and updated pieces.

OH WAIT. I forgot to mention. Whisk has reached a new life level. An instagram official level. It was hard to give up my personal page in the name of Whisk, but you can now find all that Whisky Business at @WhiskMeAwayRI and I have moved my personal page to a new account. Although business is nothing but a pleasure, I knew that it was time to add some separation to the game.

Let's wrap this post up by saying where you can find me in the upcoming weeks. I'll be posted up at the Aquidneck Grower's Market at Newport Vineyards every other Saturday. My next market is Saturday June 30th, and then Saturday July 14th, and then..I think you get the idea, the every other Saturday thing. If you're ever confused, check out my 'Events' tab, because guess who finally added a Calendar of Events? HAY.  With the busiest season revving up, I'll be popping up a bit less to give my clients the most attention possible. BUT- as always- reach out to me for your next special occasion! I'm always taking orders for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or your typical Tuesday when you just need some cake for lunch. 

On that note, I've got some blondie and brownie fans who may be a bit pleased to know that you can find a few steady sources in our lil' state. I've branched out into a new field that is new, scary, but very welcome. You can find those babes at Stock Culinary Goods on Hope St. in Providence, and The Pantry in Rumford and Coffee Exchange on Wickenden! Stop in, show some love, and try out a treat if you haven't yet!

 

I hope you're all staying sweet, and eating sweet. 

Talk Soon!

Morgan

the journey, pt.1

Greetings! It's been quite some time, and so much has changed. I figured a blog post would be a nice way to cover my bases and kick off a really exciting part of the journey.

Last we spoke, I was working in cozy lil' Prov, and absolutely killing my funkiest of dance moves while baking up fre$h goodies, and mad donuts. Not long after I last caught you up, I was presented with a really great opportunity. Although leaving my Providence familia was one of the hardest things that I've ever had to do (real tears), I knew that big girl pants were required for my next steps. I was offered a Pastry Chef position in Boston, opening up a new and exciting restaurant in the city. The experience taught me boat loads...and I'm not talking canoes...I'm talking massive boats. 

I was put into another lead position which allowed me some new perspectives. I built skills not only in the kitchen, but also in the industry which I have worked so hard within. I wasn't just baking and creating- I was interviewing, hiring, teaching, mentoring, communicating, leading, and building something completely new with a team around me. I had never experienced the opening of a new venue- the trials, tribulations, successes, letdowns, breakdowns, intensity, responsibility, ..the raw and undivided commitment. The restaurant was my life, and my life was the restaurant. I'm familiar with the position of Pastry Chef, I know the position, I'm comfortable within it. I've been writing up and designing menus and desserts since my first Pastry Chef position in Newport, the food doesn't scare me. But the position of leader? That was a new one.

I've been used to being a 'one man show'. Pastry departments usually aren't the biggest of communities, so I had grown comfortable doing it myself and only depending on what I brought to the table. In my past jobs, the recipes were mine, the execution was me, the presentation was my own- I had grown accustomed to this after doing it for a couple of different restaurants, no pastry squad was surrounding me. Building a team, especially for an opening, is a lot scarier than it seems, people. But here I am- surviving, thriving, and only a few bumps and bruises along the way.

Fast forward. The team was built, the desserts were made, the restaurant opened, the lines were to the door- and the food was effing good.

I took a lot from my time in the city and I grew so much, not only in the kitchen, but also as a person. I'm stronger than I was, I'm more confident in my work and in myself, and I'm f*cking grateful- for myself, for my love of food, and for my crazy support system which has seen me through my toughest of times and propelled me to where I am at this very moment. With these things- I'm happy. Grateful and happy. 

Brings me to my next big girl move. I decided that Boston wasn't for me. Another hard decision on my list, but also the right one. It took a lot of thought and a ton of strength, but I knew that my future was not where I currently was and I needed something more. So, I gave my notice and was scared shitless of the road ahead. As my days of employment trickled down, I gave some serious thought to what I want out of this life and what makes me feel fulfilled. That was my goal- to feel fulfilled. And not the kind of fulfilled you feel when you 'get through' a long day at work and manage to check off your 'to do' list at home- I'm talking about the kind of fulfilled that makes you literally tear up at the thought of being one step closer to your dream- not on cue, but if you sit and think about it long enough, you actually get emotional. That's where I wanted to be..... not tearing up everyday (I'm an emotional lady, but not that emotional).... but making serious and clear steps towards my ultimate goal. And what's my ultimate goal?? Are you wondering??? Can you guess? No? Really...? I'm rolling my eyes at you.

WHISK.ME.AWAY.

That's it. That's the goal. It was sitting in front of me the whole time, I was just too scared to leap for it. I always thought 'when I'm older.....' 'when I have the money....' 'when I'm ready....'

Please, young naive Morgan, tell me- when will you be ready? Trick question, older and wiser Morgan! You will never be ready. So, leap. And if you fall- it's just some bumps and bruises- you've survived worse. But if you fly, you'll be a step closer and tearing up at the thought

... and you'll also be flying, which is pretty effing cool.

 

 

PWPVD_Winter_Market_2017.jpg

Come visit Pilotworks in Providence tomorrow (12/9). It's the kitchen I'm baking out of and building my business from. We're having a Holiday Market with amazing vendors- including some like myself, who are members- cooking and baking out of this new space. I'll be selling some Whisk goodies and would love to see some of your smiling faces.

55 Cromwell Street. Providence     12pm-4pm.

 

 

 

 

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Stay Sweet,

Morgan

 

Let's catch up, shall we?

Hey hey! It's been far too long, but these past couple of months have been a blast and jam packed. I've done some sweet cakes that I seriously enjoyed working on and things at Rogue are taking off! No complaints here, only positive vibes and hard work.

To start off, I want to go over some of my favorite recent creations. A cake that immediately comes to mind is something that I felt really confident and excited about. One of my closest friends and the exec chef at Rogue has the coolest nephew, who actually wanted a Star Wars themed cake for his 6th birthday. I actually wish I was that cool when I was six...? Annnnnyways, his mom sent me over his favorite design, and I got to bring the cake to life for him. Along with his badass theme, he wanted a vanilla cake with chocolate chips, filled with chocolate buttercream. YUM. 

Another order that I really enjoyed was for another cool little dude. Jacqueline got in touch with me about her son's lumberjack themed birthday party. I was stoked on the theme, obviousy- flannels, woods, everything I love. I couldn't wait to begin, and I'm super proud of how it all came out. I fell in love with the chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, and her choice of a "naked" vanilla cake. I had to add a photo that she took of the setup (@jacquelinesarahh on instagram- check her out! Seriously, her posts are great) because she captured it perfectly! Thanks, lady!

I added some other creations from the past couple of months into the photos, just some that I really enjoyed as well! YAAAAS CAKE. AND DONUTS. AND EVERYTHING YUMMY.

One other order that sticks out in my mind was for one of the badass chicks from Rogue. If you've ever been into our awesome bar, you've probably met Sam, and you've probably instantly clicked. She's sassy and funny as hell- not to mention a kickass bartender. She'll mix you the tastiest drink- trust me. Sam turned 30 in February and decided to celebrate with a photoshoot. She asked me to make her a smash cake for it. YES, I love it! Her friend Kerin Curry, a local photographer, ran the shoot and absolutely killed it. All of the photo credits go to her for this one. Sam gave me free range over design and only told me her colors and some designs that she was a fan of. I love when clients do this, I feel really trusted and I get to have fun. Not to say that I don't have fun on every single cake I make, but I love surprising people with something they don't expect or can't envision. The reaction is priceless.

Photos by Kerin are posted here for you to check out! She's out of Cumberland, RI and obviously one talented lady! (@KerinCurryPhotography on FB and Instagram!)

With so many fun things to look back on, it makes me way more excited for whats to come! My next month is packed with new orders and I couldn't be happier about it. I have met so many amazing people and am insanely grateful for the unwavering support from everyone around me. I can't thank my friends and family enough, because I would definitely not be here without them. 

Also looking forward to hopefully meeting more of you and working on some crazy cool stuff. Let's get to it and have some fun.

My next blog post will be coming soon for sure. I just traveled to Baltimore with some of my Rogue fam for a few days of endless food, beer, and laughs. I can't wait to write about it and share my experience in such a cool place with some of the best people.

 

Stay tuned!

And stay sweet.

Morgan 

Baking (& dancing) my way into the New Year!

Hello Hello Hello! I feel like time is speeding by and I barely have a few minutes to reflect on all of the great things happening! Time for an update, y'all!

With the New Year in full swing, I wanted to update the blog and keep everyone posted on what's been up!

Let's start with the end of 2016...

In November, I took part in an awesome event. Every year, Sojourner House hosts a huge masquerade ball to raise money & awareness against domestic abuse. Along with this, RI Food Fights has been hosting a cake competition during the event based on the theme that year. So....a good cause, cake, and a party? Obviously, I was all for it when asked to participate. I absolutely love living in a state that is so supportive and tight knit. I partnered with the guys from Rogue Island and we entered the competition. In order to participate, I had to make a cake centered around the theme of Havana Nights, and also make a few sheet cakes to serve to guests. I'm a huge fan of themed cakes and working on detailed things, so I was excited to begin.

 

I have to admit, my family was a huge help with this. Every time I have a large project to work on, my family is right on board. So it's not surprising that with the days leading up to the event, we had some sleepless and goofy nights in the Gray household. My dad has always been so creative and we think in a similar way, so he helped me mold the idea for the cake and really bring it to life. He's a rockstar. As my nights were spent working hard on cake details, my days were spent baking away at Rogue, including three sheet cakes for the event. I made one chocolate/peanut butter, one vanilla/rapsberry, and one chocolate/caramel. I had great feedback on them, and plenty of cake to go around, so it was a good night!

I obviously had to add in a few candid snaps from the cake adventure. Big ups to Poppa Gray and Tyler for helping me out in this photo. My beautiful mother was also a huge help throughout the process. Can't thank them enough. Also huge shoutout to my Rogue family for helping in every way possible- even driving this massive cake through the city of Providence in the bed of a truck (Chad, you're the man for cake sitting and riding back there). Ryan, the owner of Rogue Island, worked the event with me, along with my awesome big brother. The support I have is overwhelming and fantastic. I can't thank any of you enough. 

Although we didn't finish first in the competition, I'm really glad I took on the challenge with the guys of Rogue. Ryan, Bill, and Chad are extremely supportive of everything I do pastry wise- I couldn't ask for a better team. It was something new and exciting...and we definitely got our name out there in a new way! I decided to make the tiered cake into a mountain, with the city of Providence below, tailored around the Havana Nights theme. You'll notice Rogue on there, The Biltmore, Sojourner's House, and even a mini waterfire! At the top of the mountain, I added a scenic overlook with a car and some extra palm trees. I was really pleased with the final product!

With the competition over, holidays were in full swing. I was excited to dive into some new orders and work on some exciting things at Rogue. We had many holiday parties at the restaurant so I was busy through the holiday season and the New Year celebrations. Check out my Instagram for some fun snaps of holiday desserts that I worked on!

I rang in the New Year with a pretty fun order. A local author by the name of Rachel Hoffman released her awesome book on January 3rd. She got in touch with me to make some donuts for her book release. We immediately connected over her laid back "donuts & booze' vibe that she was aiming for and I was beyond excited to make some tasty creations for her. On that day, I delivered 75 donuts to her book launch at the Cranston Barrington bookstore. She decided on half of the donuts to be maple bacon, and half to be chocolate raspberry. The maple bacon were bacon brioche donuts with a maple glaze and chopped bacon on top, while the chocolate raspberry were chocolate brioche donuts with a raspberry glaze (I'm getting a little hungry while typing this...).

The donuts were a huge hit and so was her fantastic book! I picked up a copy myself because ya girl could totally use some of this advice. I love it! I'll just leave a little link here for the website, you know,,,just in case ;) I highly recommend it!

 

With 2017 now just beginning, I'm so excited for the future. I've been in touch with some of you about some really great cake designs and ideas for some crazy cool treats. I'm looking forward to meeting you all, making some new connections, and testing the boundaries of the pastry world with each of you. 

Thank you all so much for your continued support. To wake up every day and fall in love with my job all over again is such a blessing. I promise I'll be posting up on here more often with some really great things in the works. Just wait until you see what I've got in store!

 

Stay Sweet,

Morgan

 

http://www.sojournerri.org/

https://twitter.com/RIFoodFights

 

& so it begins...

I have to admit, I've been wanting to start this website for a while. I'm not quite sure what was holding me back, but I'm excited to finally begin this new endeavor! Although I've been baking out of my house for years now, starting this will take it to a new level and I'll be able to work with all of you though out this exciting journey!

I've been working in the foodservice industry for a few years now and I've learned more than I could've ever imagined. Walking into my first full time kitchen job at a high end hotel in Newport, I was immediately given a large amount of responsibility and freedom. Although slightly terrifying for most 20 year olds, I took full advantage of this and explored the pastry world in depth. I spent hours upon hours in my home kitchen testing recipes to perfect for new menu changes and weekend specials, just to transfer them over to my work kitchen and continue the process. My free time was gobbled up with adult responsibilities and the stress of a full time Pastry Chef position. Yet, I wouldn't trade that experience for the world. I was thrown into it, and I couldn't be more thankful. My work family pushed me and applauded my hard work as I reached new levels within my position. I learned more in two years at my first full time job than I did in my many years of research and interest.

As I left my previous job, I was looking forward to new opportunities, but scared that I wouldn't be able to live up to what I had created over my past two years. Truth be told, I'm beyond happy at my current job as well! Rogue Island in Providence has given me countless opportunities to let my creative side show and they continue to push me within my field. They also have completely embraced my crazy side, funny taste in music and terribly corny dance moves. It's a perfect fit! I urge you to stop by Rogue when you get the chance- yeah...maybe I'm a little bias. We serve lunch & dinner throughout the week, and a killer brunch on the weekends. Stop by and try one of my donut specials on Saturdays and Sundays, or try any of our seriously delicious menu items. I know, I know, I'm bias!

Enough about my background, and maybe some more about what exactly this is. Whisk Me Away is a concept I've thought about for years. Eventually, a bakery/cafe type spot with this name would be ideal, but let's start small and work our way there, right? Whisk Me Away includes cakes, breads, cookies, pastries, and any other food you want to explore with me. I have an inquiries page so you can place orders with me and we can go over pricing together. I'll constantly throw new photos up here, but you should probably give my Instagram a follow for very frequent updates (@morganngray). I also plan to post on the blog with new cake designs, events I'm working on, and anything else my head can conjure up. I want everyone as involved as possible, because none of my current success would be possible without people like you. Continue to check back, but I'll make sure to bombard the internet when I post something new, so hopefully you won't miss it.

Stay Sweet!!

Morgan