Birmingham’s is one of 14 Metro Detroit restaurants participating in the 10th annual Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan Cookie Gala. Set for 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Atheneum Suite Hotel, downtown Detroit, the gala will feature the work of Metro Detroit chefs who are competing to create the best original recipes from traditional Girl Scout cookies.
Each chef was assigned a specific Girl Scout cookie to create a dessert or appetizer. Chef Louis Reyes of 220 is working with Trefoils, a traditional shortbread cookie.
“The Trefoil is the original Girl Scout cookie,” Reyes said. “Because it’s such a basic cookie, it’s easy to work with, so I set out to challenge myself to make something really unique. I will be changing the physical appearance of the cookie while maintaining its trademark flavor through my creation of an old-fashioned dessert treat.”
Reyes, who's been with 220 for 13 years, said he's hesitant to share much more detail on his dessert before the gala, but notes he plans to showcase three flavors.
Celebrity guest judges will taste and rate each recipe before awarding the Cookie Gala awards: People’s Choice, Presenting Sponsor, Judges’ Choice, Girls’ Choice and CEO’s Choice.
No Birmingham-area Girl Scout troops will be attending the gala, said Yavonkia Jenins, representative for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan. She said past galas have raised up to $70,000 for area troops, funding such projects as assisting girls who otherwise wouldn't be able to to join the Scouts. Jenins said they expect to raise at least that much this year.
Reyes will prepare 300 pieces of his dessert for guests and judges.
“I hope to be able to sample all the cookie creations,” he said. “But ultimately it’s the judges who vote, so I’ll have to be extra charming.”
In addition to the cookie competition, the fundraiser will feature a live and silent auction and music by a 19-piece jazz ensemble. The event is expected to draw approximately 300 and will benefit Southeastern Michigan's 40,000 Girl Scouts.
Among the attendees will be the 2010 two top Girl Scout cookie sellers and members of Livonia's Troop 43799. The troop recently hosted its own cookie gala with original recipes and invited teachers to vote. These girls will meet gala guests and share what the Girl Scout experience means to them. They'll also collect ballots.
Reyes said he's put many hours into refining his creation and will be baking well into the night before the big event.
“This has been an enjoyable albeit stressful experience given that I am running a restaurant at the same time,” Reyes said. “But I know no matter the outcome that it’s all for a good cause.
Restaurants and bakeries participating in the gala are:
- 220 restaurant (Trefoils)
- Andiamo Detroit Riverfront (Thin Mints)
- Atheneum, Detroit (Samoas)
- Fifty One-O-One, Dearborn (Do-Si-Dos)
- The Hill Seafood and Chop House, Grosse Pointe (Tagalongs)
- The Lark, West Bloomfield (Lemon Chalet Cremes)
- Ocean Prime, Troy (Do-Si-Dos)
- Mosaic, Detroit (Dulce de Leche)
- Redwood Lodge, Flint (Tagalongs)
- The Roostertail, Detroit (Trefoils)
- St. Clair Inn, Port Huron (Thank U Berry Munch)
- Sweet & Savory Bake Shop, Flint (Lemon Chalet Cremes)
- Holiday Market, Royal Oak (Thin Mints)
- Gold’n Crust Bakery (Samoas)