Event - Yelp Blackmarket Bakery Tasting

Blackmarket Bakery is always a fantastic place to go. They are sugar and spice and everything nice twice with some spunk and punk in 'em. Ever since I stumbled into the original bakery in Irvine when it was a wee retail spot doing an open house, I've been a fan and frequent visitor (to the Costa Mesa location). Whenever Yelp decides to do an event at Blackmarket Bakery at The Camp, I'm probably one of the first to put my RSVP in because I love Chef Rachel's goodies. While I didn't get officially in this time around, I did sneak on by as Duc's +1 so managed to nosh on some of the greatest baked goods around again. There were just a handful of guests on the list; that just meant more food for everyone and definitely an easier setting in which to meet others.

One of the things I most enjoy telling people about Blackmarket Bakery is that most of the furniture, structures, and (just about) everything is actually made by Chef Rachel's husband. The installation involves sweat equity from the entire Klemek family and even the artwork is originally painted by the mother-in-law. A family business that encourages family (customer) business! Our Community Manager Ryan had set up lovely areas with Yelp swag that evening, and we mixed and mingled with some fun people.

That night featured both sweet and savory lovely treats. Let's talk about the sweet first though because it's really what people go to a bakery for, right? Blackmarket Bakery emphasizes using real ingredients - that is, real sugar and butter in whatever it is they make. We got treated to some nutter butters (who needs the cheap-y commercial version when you can have it freshly made with in-house ground peanut butter?) and flourless chocolate walnut cookies (so, so good). There were also eyes-rolling-back s'mores made live in front of guests via Chef Rachel's toasting torch. Chocolate-drizzled housemade marshmallows smooshed between housemade gingerbread cookies were a hit with the crowd. I think they should all go back for the Saturday $1 S'mores Nights on Saturdays from 7pm to close...just saying!

Did you know that this bakery also makes very tasty toasted sandwiches? It makes sense after all - they've got a lot of bread on hand! We all snatched morsels of their Handsome Italian (pesto, tomato, mozzarella) and Graceland (peanut butter, bacon, banana) sandwiches as soon as they came out. They were devoured pretty quickly by everyone because they were just that good. The Handsome Italian is an Italian food lover's dream with its fresh flavors, and the Graceland hit all the sweet, salty, and savory notes. Props to Clinton, Master Sandwich Maker over at Blackmarket Bakery for keeping up with the demand!

Everyone seemed to have a great time, especially with free beer and wine in the back corner. Our thanks to Ryan for putting the fun event together, Chef Rachel for letting us clean her food out, and the Blackmarket Bakery staff for giving everyone smiles despite the grabby hands and after-hours work!

Photography by Duc Duong while I fed him and talked to others. More photos on Facebook here.