Shortbread Society has put out the word that its very first DC pop-up is planned for Saturday, March 25th from 11am-4pm at the Watergate Hotel. And you don’t usually get this much notice, so schedule your Saturday accordingly, Chef “Scottish Francis” Legge told K Street Magazine readers.
Shortbread Society, the British-baked viral pop-up sensation that has been putting NYC in a treat-fueled twirl, is coming to DC for the first time with a partnership pop-up on the Watergate Hotel’s Next Whisky Bar Terrace.
Owned by Legge (whom you may have seen on Masterchef) and his wife/business partner Christine — who coincidentally predicted that shortbread would become their family business before they even got married — Shortbread Society has its Capital City fans in a frenzy for their scrumptious versions of Legge’s traditional family-recipe shortbread treats.
“America turned shortbread into this fantasy Christmas cookie, um… thing, that we look down upon in Britain because it has vanilla in it, which doesn’t exist in real shortbread,” Legge told KSM. “But this is true original shortbread that’s buttery and crumbly. This is the true Highland shortbread that my grandmother taught me and that I’ve been making for the last forty years.”
It’s been a family tradition as far back as he can remember, but the Society is fairly new, and actually started as a viral sidewalk sale in New York City.
“I decided to take my Granny Pearl’s original [Millionaire’s shortbread] and turn it into like 250 flavors,” Legge explained.
The duo would pop up in three or four neighborhood spots around New York for an hour or so and then relocate. Via rideshare. With all sales handled in advance and online. And most purchases made before anyone had even tasted any shortbread.
“People preorder before even trying the food so there’s that element of trust which we absolutely love,” Legge quipped. “We’re like: Give us your money and we’ll see you in two weeks.”
“Then Zagat got ahold of it and they called me the ‘Banksy of Bakers’ … it really blew up instantly and it’s just snowballed since then,” he said.
Part of the intrigue may have been finding the fleeting sweet, but the fascination continues because the delicacies are so scrumptious. And there are so many flavors to try!
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Now, customers can order through Shortbread Society’s Instagram page and wait to pick up orders at the next local pop-up, or they can shop nationwide with next-day delivery through Goldbelly. And DC is getting its first taste with a little recognition of cherry blossom season built in.
Shortbread Society introduced a Cherry Bakewell flavor for its Watergate debut. Originally a tart in Britain, there will be both a shortbread version and a shortbread-washed cocktail to delight in on Saturday, March 25. Next Whisky Bar’s head mixologist Kal Lemma created a limited signature cocktail … with Cherry Bakewell shortbread booze-baked right in!
“We will be here — at what might be the most famous hotel in America — with all of our flavors and people can pre-order on Instagram,” Legge said.
Here’s the SHORTBREAD MENU:
Cherry Bakewell $40
Tiffany Tea Millionaires $45
Loch Ness Millionaires $45 + Gluten Free
BDay Baby Buttercream $40 + GF
Lemon Zest $25 +GF
Millionaires or Billionaire + GF
Peanut Butter Cup $40
Rainbow Cookie $40
Original Granny Pearl’s $25 + GF