Doughnut Plant Makes Sandra Lee Dance

The goods on what went down at the New York City Wine & Food Festival's Sweet dessert event
Doughnut Plant's donuts inspired Sandra Lee to dance at the festival's dessert event Sweet.
Jessica Chou

Doughnut Plant's donuts inspired Sandra Lee to dance at the festival's dessert event Sweet.

Friday night's sugar overload festival, Sweet, brought out 34 pastry chefs to offer up the best of their desserts. There was a lot of Godiva chocolates (the Big Sponsor) and frosting, and our stomachs were angry with all the sugar. Read on for a play-by-play.

9 p.m. So there are a lot of cookies and cupcakes floating around, and Sandra Lee is doing the obligatory eating rounds. Here’s her eating a doughnut from Doughnut Plant and dancing with the bakers. She seems a little tired and has a whole video team following her around with a very bright light.


9:15 p.m. Negra Modelo has small lit-up stages where long-limbed girls in tight black dresses are dancing. It feels a little sleazy, actually.


9:20 p.m. Everyone has crowded around Ron Ben-Israel! He’s on the new Sweet Genius, which, he tells The Daily Meal, is going to be more “emotional.”

10:15 p.m. Dorie Greenspan is the sweetest person in the world.

10:30 p.m. BabyCakes owner Erin McKenna tells The Daily Meal that she’ll be working on her third cookbook, featuring the savory side of vegan and gluten-free baking. Apparently she’s made killer croissants these past couple days, so expect to see more croissants and bread popping up at Babycakes as she experiments.

10:45 p.m. Doughnut Plant is out of doughnuts! Mark Israel says that the planners told them exactly how many to bring given the amount of tickets, but we didn’t get one. Some people must have had seconds. Damn.

11 p.m.Sandra Lee goes on stage to present the Sweet award. She lost her voice so she’s trying to get everyone to quiet down. Of course some people do, but you can’t control and entire room so it’s still pretty noisy. “Really? Please you guys?” she asks. She’s miffed, and gives up.

11:03 p.m. There are a lot of shout outs to the sponsors, especially Godiva. Apparently Sandra Lee’s brother gives her boxes of Godiva, which she loves “because it’s from my brother, and because I get to lay in bed and eat chocolate,” she says. “Andrew [Cuomo] doesn’t even touch it. It’s a hands-off box.” Man. The governor of New York can’t touch Sandra Lee’s chocolate box.

11:05 p.m. Sweetest of Sweet award goes to Doughnut Plant (of course). Mark Israel seems shocked. We caught up with him and he joked, “It’s so sweet of everyone to vote for us,” he said, “especially at this Sweet festival… There’s a lot of sugar here.” We get it, Mark.

11:45 p.m. Everyone is wrapping up now; most of the chefs are gone or packing up while all the other guests are still on a sugar high and lingering. Stomach hurts from too much sugar and too little real food. More photos of the scene follow:


The event spanned three large rooms, with booths filled with macarons and cupcakes.

Ron Ben-Israel with the fans

Doughnut Plant torching their doughnuts (left); Sprinkles Cupcakes (right)

The winning crème brûlée doughnut