🕘 Mar 22nd, 2021

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we look back on how much our business has changed. While some opportunities have been lost and the event industry will still be facing challenges well into 2021, we’re also proud of all the ways our team has adapted and innovated to bring new offerings to the market. In this post, we interview Lazy Gourmet Founder, Susan Mendelson on her observations and ideas for the year ahead.

What lessons have you learned during the course of the pandemic ?

During the course of the pandemic, I have learned patience above all else. When I came back from my trip exactly a year ago, Kevin told me that the Lazy Gourmet was being closed down. I was shocked at first and asked how long he thought it would be for. He said that it could be as long as a month or six weeks. I was in a complete panic at the time and couldn’t imagine how we could get through, given that we were in the midst of moving and would be responsible at the time for two buildings. I can’t believe that a  year has already passed by and we’re still not able to do any events. But thanks to everyone’s patience and ingenuity we are still functioning and surviving.

What is your favorite pivot The Lazy Gourmet has come up with over the course of the past year?

My favorite pivot is the Zoom cooking classes and cocktail classes. I think that they are great fun and so creative. They are a great way for people to connect virtually while engaging in an enjoyable activity.

If you could tell yourself one thing a year ago, what would it be?

I would tell myself to take advantage of the time at home and to make it meaningful and filled with wellness activities. I would have to say that I have experienced a lot of anxiety about the uncertainty of the future and have not always been positive and I wish that I had committed to more yoga and fitness activities.

Any new favorite dishes that you have come up with? Can you share the recipe?

I have spent too much time baking and have developed a really great maple pecan shortbread cookie. I’ll share the recipe here.

Susan’s Maple Pecan Shortbread Cookies

I make a batch and roll into 3 logs or more if you want smaller cookies. Freeze two thirds of the dough and refrigerate the rest until ready to bake.

1 ½ cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Roast pecans at 350 for about 6 minutes. Let cool and then chop. I like to have 1 ½ cups of the chopped ones so you can roast a little more when they are whole. Be sure that they are at room temp before adding them below:

1 cup butter – cream until soft
½ cup sugar- add and continue to beat

1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla

Mix these together and add to above

2 cups flour
½ tsp salt

Mix together and add to above

Fold in pecans

Make logs and refrigerate or freeze

Slice as thin or thick as you like. I like to cut them quite thin so that I can have more!

Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes until a golden brown.

Test to see how you like them. I like a buttery flavour so I bake until the color that you see here.

What do you miss most about planning parties?

I miss the fun of engaging with people to plan their parties but nothing matches the excitement and rush when all of the planning comes together and the event is happening and guests and clients are blown away by our food and service.

What do you think the biggest event trend will be when people can gather again?

I think that events will be different when we return to gatherings again. I have an idea that people will have petit boxes or plates delivered to them with a few appetizers on each so that there’s not as much potential touching of plates or contamination which we were not even aware of before. We will be planning events with a whole new awareness; It will be different but also better and people will feel confident that we have their health and safety in mind when we do our planning. I am very optimistic that we will be very busy when gatherings return and we will have to be ready and organized for the onslaught when it comes. I’m very excited about that!

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