Pastry Prowess and Award-Winning Wines Pair for a Weekend of Deliciousness at Galen Glen
On May 30 and 31 Galen Glen Winery will welcome Natalie Morgan (nee Collins), Executive Pastry Chef from Portofino and Tom Colicchio’s Heritagesteak, in Las Vegas. She and winemaker, Sarah Troxell, are both leaders in their respective fields. These two petite powerhouses will pack a punch during this special event.
Galen Glen will be offering Natalie’s “Happiness Cake Pops” made from their award-winning Semi-Dry Riesling wine. When asked how she decided on the name for the cake, Morgan said, “I was thinking of a name for the cakes and it came to me that one of my favorite quotes is, ‘you can’t buy happiness but you can buy cupcakes and wine, which is pretty much the same thing!’ So, I thought, I’ll just call them happiness.”
Morgan, a Palmerton native, states she started baking at the age of four. She recalled how her mother, Nancy Collins, came home from work one day to find her baking a cheesecake, “all by myself” she adds. Her grandmother, Annamae Collins, was her inspiration as she had a garden and would make dinner for the family every night. Morgan, admittedly has a slightly rebellious streak. She states, “while growing up, my mom tried to drill into my brain that baking was just a hobby, not a career choice. Obviously, I had to prove her wrong.” By the time she reached high-school, Morgan was more focused on art and field hockey but had the epiphany that she could create art with food. Galen Glen’s Tasting Room Manager, Kathy Matson noted, “Natalie’s creations are not only delicious but incredible pieces of art. Some of her Instagram photos of wedding cakes should be in bridal magazines.”
Morgan details that after a weekend visit to Johnson and Wales in her senior year of high school, she decided to attend The Culinary Institute of America. During her externship between year one and two she worked in the Lehigh Valley at The Glasbern Inn. In July 2006 she received her degree in Baking and Pastry. By August of that same year, the 19-year old was working in the bright lights of Vegas at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, then Jean George’s Prime Steakhouse, The Mansion at MGM with Joel Robuchon, before moving to her current position.
During this time, she has also started her own business, Nattie-cakes. When asked how it feels to return to her home town as a superstar, Morgan declares, “Honestly, I don’t see myself as a superstar. I try to stay as humble as I can and am just thankful for the success I have been blessed with.” When asked about her recipe for the winery’s cakes, she expressed, “I really wanted to showcase the Riesling and have it be the star. Since it is such a delicate wine, I stayed true to the traditional vanilla cupcake spiked with Riesling. The buttercream is all Riesling, literally-it’s egg whites, butter, sugar and Riesling and frankly, delicious.” When winemaker, Sarah Troxell, met Natalie and tasted her creations, she acknowledged, “She is a darling person and extremely gifted. We are excited to be working with her.”
During the weekend Galen Glen will be selling the “Happiness Cake Pop” with 3 ounces of Late Harvest (a Riesling and Vidal Blanc blend that recently won a silver medal at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition) for $3, while supplies last. The winery will also feature full-size versions of the Happiness Cupcake and Morgan’s favorite, Lemon Blueberry cupcakes for $2.50 each. Morgan will be at the winery On Saturday, May 30th from 11am to 1pm for a meet-and-greet. The public is welcome and reservations are not required.