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Michigan Avenue Hotel Makes Perfect “Big Day” Pastries
For Cheryl Brookhouzen, Executive Pastry Chef at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, using fresh-from-the-earth ingredients is, well, only natural. When she’s not whipping up delectable desserts at their Harvest restaurant, she’s helping make big day dreams come true for many of Chicago’s brides-to-be with her gorgeous homemade wedding cakes. From small affairs to groups of 1,800, Chef Brookhouzen leads her talented team of pastry chefs to concept, bake, design, and garnish cakes for over 30 weddings each year.
Whereas nearby luxury hotels have admitted to using Styrofoam cakes for presentation, everything that comes out of the kitchen at the Marriott is, well, cake. Instead of inedible pastry and plastic garnishes, Marriott chefs work tirelessly in-house to create every last detail from scratch. From the finishing touches on a Chicago skyline skyscraper to the meticulously detailed miniature golden elephants painted around each tier of a five level masterpiece, the cakes that leave the kitchen at the Marriott Michigan Avenue are truly works of art.
Chef Brookhouzen has been creating custom cakes at the hotel for the past five years.
“When it comes to trends, we’ve seen a huge surge in popularity of Downtown Chicago and Chicago Skyline-themed cakes recently,” says Cheryl Brookhouzen, Executive Pastry Chef at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. “Whether it’s matching the design on the cake to that of the bride's gown or designing it according to a desired theme, wedding cakes today are immensely more personal and different than they were 10 or so years ago. People have really begun to shy away from the traditional and embrace what makes their marriage and partnership truly unique.”