What I do: Dessert Diva

(First in a one-part series.)
Okay, okay, so that’s not the actual title, but it’s a lot more fun than Dessert Salon Coordinator, don’t you think? Plus, it comes with a sash. Seriously.

So what does a Dessert Diva do?

It starts at the beginning of the year when I contact our hotel’s banquet coordinator and ask for a list of desserts and prices. They talk to the pastry chef and eventually I get a list of 25 or 26 options from which I choose 20. I make sure we have a variety of flavors and textures and I make sure that we have plenty of vegan, nut-free, and gluten-free items. Then I start crunching numbers. Did you know we order 822 individual desserts each year? (A secret: We order 7 dozen chocolate-covered strawberries.) I not only have to balance flavors, textures, and allergens but I have to make sure that we order the right amounts. I order a lot of chocolaty desserts and a few of each of the vegan offerings. I don’t want you to be disappointed and we don’t want a lot of one thing left over because I ordered too much. I also want to make sure that everyone feels like they have plenty to choose from, even those with the strictest diets.

Once I decide on amounts of things—including the coffee, tea, and milk—I put it all on a spreadsheet which tells me how much it will all cost. If that isn’t too heart-stopping, I send it back to the hotel and then I kick back and answer your questions about allergens—which are sent from me to the hotel banquet coordinator to the pastry chef to the hotel banquet coordinator and then back to me—until the night of the Dessert Salon when I dress up, make sure you don’t have any questions or concerns, and order more beverages if we run out before the speeches start. The number of desserts I make off with is a closely-guarded secret. (Six, okay? I tried six last year. Don’t judge me!)
Did you know I can hold a dessert or two for you if you have allergies and want to make sure you get something that you’ll be able to eat? That’s part of my job, too. I even have an email address: dessert@wiscon.net

After the con, I contact the hotel’s banquet coordinator again and they tell me which desserts were left over and which disappeared really fast so I have an idea for the next year of how to better balance the order. Voila! Job done!

How did you become the Dessert Diva?

Well, in this case, it was all about who I knew. I had a friend who wanted to take a break and I just happened to be ready to take on a little responsibility. But you don’t have to know someone to get in on the action! When we have volunteer opportunities we post them on our blog. You can also check our at-con volunteer board on the 2nd floor for at-con volunteer opportunities.

It’s a delicious job, but somebody’s got to do it!