• Meet Chef Thaddeus DuBois, Sculptor of Sugar

     
    FROM THE Fall 2015 ISSUE
     

    From the White House to Atlantic City, chef Thaddeus DuBois always delights with his creations.

Thaddeus DuBois got his start working at local bakeries while attending University of Montana in Missoula, but three decades later, the executive pastry chef at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City is one of the biggest names in the industry.

Selected as one of Ten Best Pastry Chefs in America in 1999, he also served as executive pastry chef at the White House, where he crafted desserts for high-profile dinners and events hosted by President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. Yet despite calling it the high point of his career, DuBois is brief when talking about his time with the First Family. “Everyone always wants to know everything about my work there. It’s like working for a hotel and private family all wrapped up into one,” says DuBois.

A self-proclaimed western boy, DuBois was born in Los Angeles and spent his childhood in California, Utah and Idaho. After completing two Bachelor of Arts degrees in music and a minor in horticulture, he studied baking and pastry at the Culinary Institute of America. But music remains in his life, and he plays the piano daily. “It’s a great complement to my career of pastry,” he says. “There is nothing more pleasing than starting your day with a Bach prelude and fugue and finishing your day with a Chopin etude and doing pastry in between.”

Borgata first welcomed DuBois in 2003, just before he was called to the White House. He returned two years later and now oversees all pastry and bread production for Borgata and the adjacent Water Club Hotel. His pastry shop provides sweets and baked goods for over 20 outlets, keeping the scene fresh for DuBois and his staff. “Borgata is a fantastic place to work. It’s high-paced, always busy, and as Atlantic City’s market-leading casino, it positively creates a sense of pride in working here. It’s by far the busiest place I have ever worked,” he says.

DuBois takes a thoughtful approach to his art, focusing on presentation and taste. He draws his inspirations from all over: colleagues’ work, books and magazines, industry trade shows, food events and his own imagination. “Pastry is a very complicated technique-based craft, so I take it very seriously. It’s also an extremely giving craft, and I get great satisfaction in performing and learning from it always.”

(Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa; theborgata.com; 609.317.1000)

Retreats and off-site meetings present wonderful opportunities for groups to collaborate, strategize and build relationships away from their normal office environments. With proper planning, these sessions can be highly effective and even pivotal in setting a new direction. However, off-sites may present some unforeseen challenges that can quickly deflate the energy in the room if not anticipated and addressed in advance.

 

A lifelon New Yorker, Emily Schmalholz was a TV producer at VH1 before moving into the events industry and landing at Westchester’s The Capitol Theatre. As director of special events at the historic space and its bar, Garcia’s, she says creating events and working in television have lots in common. “The ultimate goal for both is to tell a great story and create memorable moments.” Schmalholz, a self-described “event therapist,” had more to say about her work.

What’s the biggest difference between producing for television and producing events?

 

From Baltimore to Boston to brainstorming, Ralph Weaver has never been one to say “no” to trying something new. After studying communications and marketing at Boston University, the Baltimore native made his way to New York City where he worked with a public relations agency, allowing him to dip his toes in the world of event planning.  

And he hasn’t looked back since.