Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Final SCBWI Conference Post: The Great Rocky Road Bread Pudding Incident of 2007...

When I arrived in LA the Thursday afternoon before the SCBWI conference, the first person I ran into was Writers House agent Steven Malk. (I met Steve at this very conference something like 10 years ago.) He was in the lobby bar area talking with an author of his, Mac Barnett. (Mac was really cool, smart, friendly and fun to hang out with. I can't wait to read his upcoming books.)

Mac and Steve started talking about what they claimed was the best dessert they've ever had in their entire lives--Rocky Road Bread Pudding from Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica. Apparently this dessert would blow my mind it was so amazing!!! I love dessert as much as the next gal (maybe even more), and I must admit, it did sound pretty yummy--chocolate bread pudding with homemade marshmallow cream. Mmmmm.

Pretty much every time I ran into Steve during the four days of the conference he mentioned Rocky Road Bread Pudding. Steven Malk, I must tell you, is a sugar junkie. (This does not in any way mean one should send cookies or candy bars or the like along with one's query letter to Steve. Please do not do that.) I was beginning to catch on that Steve needed a high-quality sugar fix. The bag of cookies I heard he had polished off singlehandedly must not have been doing it. He needed something warm and chocolatey and gooey. He needed Rocky Road Bread Pudding.

If you read my last post, you know that Steve was my ride to Lin Oliver's conference after-party. He was also my ride back to the hotel. We left the party around 9 p.m.-ish and I was ready to go back to my room, pack, and get some sleep. I had a 7 a.m. flight, a 5 a.m. cab, and a 4:30 a.m. wake up call.

But Steve was jonesin. We were stopping at Rustic Canyon. We were havin us some Rocky Road Bread Pudding. I was getting more and more excited about it. My mouth was watering. I was thinking how lame all those cupcakes at the autograph party would seem compared to the ooey chocolate-marshmallowy deliciousness of Rocky Road Bread Pudding.

We parked. We walked in. We waited for a table for an eternity. (Ten minutes is a long time to wait when there is Rocky Road Bread Pudding in your future.)

Finally we were seated. The server handed us menus. The four of us (Steve, Lindsay, Mac and I) flipped them over in unison, our eyes scanning for the dessert list. We read the list. We read it again. How could this be? No Rocky Road Bread Pudding! Noooo!!!!!!!

We found out Rustic Canyon had recently gotten a new pastry chef and had stopped serving Rocky Road Bread Pudding five days before we got there. It was quite a blow. I'm not sure Steve will ever get over the deep disappointment of being denied his Rocky Road Bread Pudding. Sure, we got some pleasing chocolate cake with a scoop of ice cream and a caramel sauce. We got a blueberry corncake that was pretty darn delish. But no Rocky Road Bread Pudding. We (Steve) talked to every server who would listen and I believe the hostess and the manager. They claimed that they felt our pain. They had loved the dessert as well. Other restaurant patrons also missed it. And they indeed did not have any stashed in the back that they were withholding from us so they could eat it all themselves.

If you live in LA, feel free to drop in Rustic Canyon and ask them to put Rocky Road Bread Pudding back on the menu. Do it for all the dessert lovers in the greater Los Angeles area. Do it for sugar-addicted agents everywhere. Do it for Steve.

Mac Barnett and Steven Malk smiling through their pain after not getting Rocky Road Bread Pudding.


Donna McDine said...

Hi Alice...just finished reading some posts in your log. I'm a member of the SCBWI and of the Metro NY chapter.

I have registered for the Fundamentals of Writing for Children Workshop through WOW and I'm looking forward to meeting you. It must have been destiny that I take this workshop...I purchased the textbook on my own about a month ago and then I read about this particular workshop and was delighted to see that this particular book is a requirement for this workshop.

Until we meet in the lecture room...regards, Donna McDine

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