First Annual Berklee Bake-Off

The First Annual Berklee Bake-Off was a Personnel Committee event thought up my by colleague Flannery O’Brien. The organization was mine and an event I took great pride in. In September Flannery mentioned wanting to plan a Bake-Off similar to one she’d organized at a previous job. As a foodie and someone who loves planning things, I jumped at the chance to execute this event. In the weeks that followed Baker recruitment ensued, the Steve Heck Room was reserved, postcards were created, prizes were sought, and the buzz began.
Eighteen Bakers arrived to set up their areas and baked goods at 12pm. At 12:30pm three judges arrived. Berklee President Roger Brown, Training and Support Manager Linda Embardo, and Personnel Committee Co-Chair Pedro Verdugo made the rounds scoring each item on appearance, taste, and overall experience. The judges’ scores were tallied and although it was close, we were able to determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
At 1pm the doors opened and for a two-hour period attendees and voters had their hands and mouths full. Based on the People’s Choice ballots, there were at least 135 people through the door.
Although the music in the room was slightly less audible than the conversation amongst colleagues, I found it fun to create a Spotify playlist based on relevant ‘Baking’ keywords (think sugar, spice, pie, sweet, cake, cupcake, and the like). I threw in some coffeehouse music for good measure and also was sure to shuffle the playback. If you are a Spotify user and want to access this playlist, here it is.
The judges were happy with the event and their role in it. “It was well run and absolutely delicious”, said Linda. “It was also a treat to see so many folks from all areas of the college participate. We knew we had dedicated staff and faculty but who knew they were such great bakers! Bravo to all those who participated. I look forward to next year and the delicious goodness to come.”
Pedro was impressed by all the entries, “All the participants are to be congratulated for stepping up and throwing down!” He also overheard attendees conversing about how cool it was to meet people from other areas of the college whom they’d previously interacted with on the phone or in email but not in person.
Roger Brown had this to say:

“Wonderful baked goods, wonderful Berklee bakers, enthusiastic tasters and a sense of holiday spirit and community — what more could you ask for? Well, being a judge made it even better. It was my JOB to taste every single item and none disappointed.”

Aramark provided ice-cold water to help cleanse palates. Pavement Coffeehouse served fresh coffee, espresso, lattes, and cappuccinos. Local businesses like Back Bay Hardware, Georgetown Cupcake, and the Berklee Bookstore donated prizes for the winners. The event was a perfect combination of people coming together for food, music, and to celebrate the amazing Berklee community.
All in all it was a great success and although I won’t be here next year, I hope to hear good things about the Second Annual Berklee Bake-Off.
Congratulations to the winners!
1st Place: Jackie Michalowski, Public Safety, Public Safety Chocolate Cake
$20 to Kitchen Wares on Newbury Street with Cookbooks, DVDs, a Food Network Tote bag

Jackie's Public Safety Cake

Jackie’s Public Safety Cake

2nd Place: Annie Sklar, Berklee Media, Rosemary Pine Nut Shortbread Cookies with a Lemon Icing
35 Piece Precision Tool Set donated by Back Bay Hardware on Newbury Street

Annie's Rosemary PinenNut Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

Annie’s Rosemary PinenNut Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Icing

3rd Place: Bill Anderson, Academic Technology, Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie
Gift Card for one dozen cupcakes donated by Georgetown Cupcake on Newbury Street

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie

Bill Anderson’s Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie

People’s Choice Award: Andrea Farner, Double Chocolate Coffee Cookies
A selection of music-themed kitchen utensils donated by the Berklee Bookstore

Double Chocolate Coffee Cookies

The People’s Choice Winner

This is the back of a postcard for an event I planned as part of the Personnel Committee. I also designed the postcard, printed it, and distributed it on campus. This side represents 'Baker Registration'. The QR Code and link to a Google Form where Berklee Staff entered their information and baked good.This is the front of a postcard for an event I planned as part of the Personnel Committee. I also designed the postcard, printed it, and distributed it on campus.First PlaceSecond PlaceBill's Chocolate Chip Pecan PieChocolate Coffee Cookies