Many of us are trying to be as creative as possible at home, and emulating the restaurant experience at home with premium foods is one such way. But what does this mean for high tea?
"I think the lockdown has had an immensely detrimental impact on high tea concepts," says Santiago Cuyugan, owner of dessert label Mamé Cocoa. "They are a celebration meant to be at a large table, lots of grandeur, with the people you cherish being around."
The pastry chef (who has completed stints at the Park Hyatt Melbourne, Adriano Zumbo, Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School, Crown and Bibelot) now runs Mamé Cocoa virtually and offers delivery desserts including Japanese-inspired nama chocolates (similar to ganache) on a regular basis.
"Aside from the Mamé Cocoa aspect of my business, I also operate a consulting and pastry goods supplier business," Cuyugan says. "My upcoming residency at the Park Hyatt is set to offer a high tea menu that changes seasonally. Unfortunately as a supplier, stock needed to be acquired and prepared, and with the current lockdown extensions, I have a lot of ingredients that will not be making it onto next season's menu. Being able to reduce the potential waste involved is a very important aspect of any business."
Left with excess stock, the chef has put a call-out for the general public to take his delicious goods off his hands. This is where you step in.
Cuyugan's limited high tea boxes take you back to high tea at a five star hotel. "They're inspired by classic French cuisine," he says. So what can you expect? Savoury treats like croque monsieurs; housemade brioche and chicken sliders; mushroom duxelle cigars and smoked salmon crépes. And for the sweet side of things you'll receive tarte Bourdaloue; gateaux fromage; walnut financiers; Melbourne opera cakes and plain and fruit scones complete with housemade raspberry jam and cream.
Serves come in a bio-conscious catering box and cost $60 each with a $10 flat delivery fee. Orders of over 3 sets receive complimentary delivery. It's available for pick up at select locations (Sunday September 12th, 1.30pm to 2pm) or delivery to most metro Melbourne suburbs (Sunday September 12th, 11am to 1.30pm).