This past weekend I was invited to a press event to celebrate the opening of Cake by Franck at Foxwoods® Resort Casino. Franck Iglesias is the Executive Pastry Chef Foxwoods Resort Casino, Connecticut. The bakery, a "celebration of pastries, offering classic New England and seasonal desserts with a twist" offers such mouth-watering treats as handmade macaroons, chocolates, candies, pies and muffins, whole cakes and cake by the slice, all crafted under the guidance of a world-class pastry chef. For those readying to tie the knot, the bakery also features a personalized wedding cake design section. A selection of gluten conscious and no-sugar-added offerings and limited-time specialty desserts for those who have dietary restrictions. Guests will be delighted year-round by the spectacular in-store displays, fragrant aromas and an unparalleled selection of must-have treats – including a build-your-own Belgian Waffle station.
Born in Argenteuil, France, just north of Paris (most noted for the works of Van Gogh), Chef Franck was raised in the food and restaurant industry. We spoke at length about his childhood in France and the life-changing decision to move to the States. At the age of sixteen he entered Andorra Culinary School, where spent two years mastering the basics of French cuisine, from there he moved to Perpignan to study and learn the art of pastry making. After many years of working both as cook and pastry chef throughout France and Spain, he made the life changing decision to move to America and in 2000 where he worked as a pastry chef at Patisserie Mirabelle in Old Saybrook, CT. Two years later he moved to New York to enhance his culinary skills there and soon found himself at the esteemed Upper East Side Payard Patisserie & Bistro. Franck’s creative work has also been published in Food & Wine, Gourmet, Art Culinaire and Modern Bride Magazines and Dessert Professional Magazine where he was recently named a Top Ten Pastry Chef.
Several years ago in 2009, on a quest for new challenges Chef Franck came to Foxwoods Resort Casino as the Executive Pastry Chef. In his current role, he oversees a staff of 40 and services 34 on-site food outlets. This year, in his most recent endeavor at Foxwoods, Chef Franck opened Cake by Franck, a boutique storefront showcasing a unique dessert experience that serves as an outlet for Chef Franck’s fine-tuned talent.
“The broad spectrum of cuisines offered at Foxwoods Resort Casino has been an excellent outlet for me to showcase my passion for crafting unique confections,” Chef Franck Iglesias said of his seven-year tenure at Foxwoods. “I feel very fortunate to be opening Cake by Franck for our guests who appreciate and enjoy gourmet cakes, pastries and other delicious desserts. I can’t wait for customers to experience the process from start to finish and, most importantly, indulge in my creations.”
While Cake by Franck was designed to take on the personality of a New England Country Store with a playful and interactive environment, the patisseries and treats are very reminiscent of a French bakery, and brought me back to my own youth in France. In addition to the Cake by Franck storefront, There's a custom cupcake vending machine on the Foxwoods property located on the Concourse Level of Great Cedar Hotel. The vending machine offers a vast selection of fresh cupcakes 24 hours per day, at the press of a button. Selections include the decadent Sinatra’s Jack Daniels Cupcake, the mouthwatering Poker Face PB&J Cupcake and the fiery Mashantucket Campfire S’Mores Cupcake. How fun is that?!
After the tour of the shop and the opportunity to sample some wonderful treats, we headed over to our cake decorating competition. Below I am caught in the act of trying to take a selfie as we were setting up for our cake decorating contest!
Below Chef Franck gives us a demonstrations and shares some of his tips with us... Less is more... Height is good... and be sure to squeeze the air pockets out of the pastry bags before decorating!
Members of the press in line to gather our cake decorating materials. There was so much to choose from. We were taking this competition very seriously! The event was so much fun that I think these guys should host one for the public. You'd go, wouldn't you? You'd get to take home your cakes! (They're mighty tasty.)
Chef Franck is squeezing some icing into a bag for me.
I'm putting the final touches on my cake - I've followed his less is more suggestion.
My daughter was my guest and assistant. She's putting the final touches on her cake. It came out really well. Much better than mine did!
One of my cakes in its completion.
My daughter's cake... Doesn't it look tasty? It was!
My final chocolate cake. I like my daughter's much better. We each got two cakes to decorate - one vanilla with buttercream and one chocolate.
Chef Franck announces his winner! She and her cake were both darling!
If you're headed to Foxwoods, you absolutely must stop off at Cake by Franck!
About Foxwoods® Resort Casino is the premier resort destination in the Northeast. As the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods offers a vast array of gaming in six casinos; AAA Four-Diamond hotels, restaurants from gourmet to quick service, world-renowned spas, award-winning golf, state-of-the-art theaters, and exclusive retailers. Perfect for both recreation and business, Foxwoods provides modern and versatile convention and meeting space to infuse new life into any meeting or event. Foxwoods Resort Casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. For a comprehensive look at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation visit Foxwoods.com.