Pastry chefs from some of the best eating places in San Francisco got together Saturday for a charity bake sale called Killed By Dessert. Proceeds raised go toward No Kid Hungry, which is both great and slightly odd at the same time as we would be gorging ourselves on sweets and stuff in order to help feed the hungry, but I went with it anyway. Held at the San Francisco Cooking School when I arrived there was already a line formed to get in. Fortunately I was early enough that the line wasn't too long and I didn't have to wait too long before getting in. Once you get in you get boxes to put your choices in but there was no place to sit and try it out, it was strictly cash (or credit) and carry. Here's the line up:

· Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar (NYC) compost cookies, cornflake cookies, blueberry & cream cookies, crack pie by the slice
· Bill Corbett, The Absinthe Group: A pretzel croissant and a porcini marshmallow meringue with roasted white chocolate ganache and an oatmeal crust, all blowtorched for a campfire taste.
· Shawn Gawle, Saison: Craquelins, caneles, and caramelized cocoa nib & sesame financiers
· Lincoln Carson, the Mina Group: Two times twisted vanilla brioche: version one with vanilla, bourbon and cardamom or version two with bacon, sage, and smoked pepper
· Nicole Krasinski, State Bird Provisions: Black sesame-walnut chocoyaki with roasted strawberries
· Melissa Chou, Aziza: An entremet of black currant, vanilla, hazelnut, and fennel
· Stephanie Prida, Manresa: Laminated brioche and Nutella
· Matt Tinder, Coi: Bittersweet bread with yuzu and chocolate

After circling the tables twice and agonizing on what to spend my money on, here is what I got:

Brioche really seemed to be the order of the day, but I've always been ambivalent about it. Too crunchy, not served warm, burnt sugar, too hard and crusty on the bottom---I could go on. It's why I skipped a few places and only got 2 kinds that offered something different than the usual baked bread. Herewith then a basic breakdown of what I got and what I thought in order of picture appearance.

Salted brioche with pate noisette spread from Manresa--the brioche was small and basic, here it was about the spread which was like a salty nutella crossed with a chocolate mousse. Liked it, could have just eaten the spread by itself.

Bitter sweet bread from Coi. Not a big fan. The bread part was light and fluffy, but the yuzu was so bitter tasting you couldn't taste the sweet or the chocolate. Maybe I'll revisit it and try with butter.

From Momofuku/Milk Bar of NYC the cornflake marshmallow chocolate chip was good if a little to gooey chewy. The compost cookie didn't like, too much of a burnt coffee flavor for me. The blueberry cream cookie really enjoyed. The crack pie, like a salty sweet chess pie, was good also, though for some it will be too sweet and eating it all in one sitting could be a bit much.

The bacon brioche from Mina was delicious. The right combination of bacon and light sweetness, I like this more than I thought I would. Point of note I took this home and heated it up slightly in the toaster oven and I think that made it even better for me.

Focaccia bread with pecorino and prosciutto from Delfina was buttery cheesy goodness. The outside crust was crunchy the inside bread was airy and light. I could eat this every day.

The B. Patisserie kougin amann I've had before and loved it. Here she added a berry compote inside and made it even better. Again I did the heating it up thing and I think it made it tastier.

Finally from Absinthe was the roasted white chocolate on an oatmeal crust with a meringue marshmallow topping. On first bite it's like, hmmm, it's okay, but it took a couple more bits to actually like and appreciate it. The flavors were different but it weirdly tasted better the more you ate it. Hard to explain. Though the more you eat, the more you do taste the coconut in the crust.

While all these treats didn't kill me, I will have to add a few extra miles to the exercise routine this week to work off some excess calories. Overall this was a great bake sale for a good cause. Hopefully next year they could get a slightly bigger space and give folks a place to sit and enjoy the treats in the moment, especially since the success of this first event will no doubt lead to bigger and better ones in this town of foodie fanatics.