Spring Spark: An Encore Performance with PNB

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s spring fundraiser pairs ballet dancers with pastry chefs to create unique desserts.  

One of the tastiest fundraisers in town is back for an encore performance this Saturday, May 11, at the Francia Russell Center in Bellevue. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s (PNB) Spring Spark is a one-night event where ballet dancers, local distilleries, and Seattle’s dessert virtuosos collide in a night of celebration and support. Guests will have the pleasure of sampling and voting for their favorite desserts and signature cocktails. 

Last year, we collaborated with Lucien Postlewaite, and our Oberon’s Rose Pavlova won the playful competition for best dessert. We’re honored to be invited back for another pas de deux! This year, our dance partner is Leta Biasucci, a principal dancer at PNB. “I’ve long been a huge fan of Macrina’s pastries, and since the opening of the Maple Leaf location, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing regular Cornetto dates with my 17-month-old daughter, Alma,” says Leta. “So when I had the opportunity to work alongside the individuals behind Macrina’s magic, I was so excited!” 

After weeks of auditioning ideas and refining them, Leta and our pastry team have a winner: The Earl of Puff, an airy pâte à choux filled with an Earl Grey Bavarian cream and rhubarb raspberry compote.  

Our pastry team is composed of Leslie Mackie, Macrina’s founder, Katarina Ducharme, our Retail Production Manager, and Sam Stout, our Retail Pastry General Manager. “We had the pleasure of talking favorite pastries with Leta,” says Leslie. “She’s a brilliant dancer and lives a demanding life performing, traveling, and being a mother. When she gets a break, she enjoys a warm cup of tea and her knitting or a good book. It restores her.” 

Leta also mentioned that her dessert preferences run toward rustic Italian. With those factors in mind, we set about experimenting, going in several different directions, and ultimately landing on our variation on the cream puff. Pulling in Leta’s love of tea, we came up with the Earl Grey pastry cream filling and the seasonal touch of the rhubarb.  

At our final tasting, Leta suggested refinements and our pastry team set to work. We’re happy to announce that The Earl of Puff is ready for its debut on Saturday night! And for those of you not attending the Spring Spark, the dessert will be available in our cafés over the Mother’s Day weekend from May 10–12.  

“Sam, Katarina, and Leslie are such masters of their craft,” says Leta. “Having a front row seat to Macrina’s creative process has been such a privilege and wonderful experience. I am so excited to share this special dessert at Spring Spark!” 

We, too, look forward to the playful competition at the Spring Spark and tasting the many other fine desserts and libations. “This is such a fun and privileged project to work with Leta and PNB,” says Leslie.