By Terry Trucco
Spring and its holidays are about new beginnings, and what’s more renewing than a new hat?
Three fetching Easter bonnets perch on a flower-garnished hat rack atop a table on the mezzanine landing at the Peninsula New York, located (aptly) on Fifth Avenue for all you fans of the Irving Berlin movie and song “Easter Parade.”
They look good enough to wear. But the twist is they’re good enough to eat, created from 25 lbs. of chocolate and 12 lbs. of sugar pastilage by Executive Pastry Chef Deden Putra and his able team.
Each year, Putra & Co. come up with an edible ode to spring (and given the winter’s we’ve had, amen). Peninsula General Manager Jonathan Crook suggested Easter bonnets this time.
Putra responded with a trip to Michael’s arts & crafts shop, where he and his assistant Irene Widjaya chose three fetching chapeaux. They crafted sugar molds to guarantee full-size chocolate versions then got to work decorating.
A cartwheel hat in yellow is the focal point. “It’s
bright, cheery and represents spring,” Putra says. Orange is Widjaya’s favorite color, Putra’s is green, and the rest is chocolate hat history. Hand-made sugar butterflies, ladybugs and flowers complete the display.
The graceful Art Nouveau-inspired hat rack, 48 inches tall, was crafted from wood by the hotel’s engineering department and brushed with tempered dark chocolate by Putra and Widjaya.
Almost done, but when the hat rack was lifted onto a rolling cart for delivery to the mezzanine, it was too tall to fit into the elevator. So Putra and Widjaya carried it themselves, a heart-in-mouth experience. “Not gonna lie, we prayed to all the gods up there we would make it without a hitch to the lobby,” Putra says.
We know the result. And you can see it — better yet, sniff it — through April.
Peninsula New York, 700 Fifth Avenue at 55th Street; 212 956-2888