Signature banana bread at The Mayflower hotel
The Mayflower is one of the most historic hotels in DC – it has been home to Presidential Inaugural balls, the spot for the power lunches of power lunches, scandal and gossip, and is known as DC’s “second best address” (the first being the White House, of course). But it is also known for something else – BANANA BREAD. Yep, the hotel has been making banana bread since the 1950’s and it has become one of the hotel’s signature items, used in the hotel’s turn down amenities, served in the hotel’s Edgar restaurant, and even as dessert at many weddings in the hotel! You might even get some when you check in - that's a sweet start!
Fun Fact: The Mayflower uses over 20,000 bananas each year, to bake over 10,000 loaves of banana bread!
Why banana bread? How did it become a signature? Most importantly, want to eat some and learn to make it? The hotel is now offering quarterly culinary classes for hotel guests and others, starting with the first class on March 19th. It also includes drink pairings with a local spirits partner. Yep, banana bread can go with drinks too!
I had the opportunity to attend a preview of the class and can tell you it’s a fun experience, not just for the end result (the banana bread is delicious!), but also to learn about the history of the hotel and the dish, the variations that are offered, and …wearing that chef’s hat! The class starts with a review of the ingredients used, which are all helpfully set up at your individual counter, and then you get right into the mix of things.
Chef Doug guides you through the signature recipe, which involves some whisking, some mixing, and some mashing, after which you pour the batter into individual loaf pans. The staff then take those to the oven and bring you back your fully baked loaf in a few minutes! Easy.
While waiting for your loaf to come out, guests can learn about the drink pairings with the vendor, try it (obviously), and also munch on small bites that are provided. The spirits partner might change seasonally, so expect local beers, wine distributors, and other pairings. For the preview, we tried a variety of wines ranging from a Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Noir, and a few ice wines that complemented the banana bread offered.
You get to take home the banana bread (breakfast for the next couple days?), a Mayflower branded apron, the recipe, and some tips on fun accompaniments to the banana bread (bourbon maple syrup, anyone?).
Details about the first quarterly class:
Date: Saturday, March 19 2-4:00pm
Location: Edgar (The Mayflower Hotel; 1127 Connecticut Ave NW (between L and Desales St.)
Cost per participant: $35
Tasting vendor: Dolce Wine
This class is perfect for a girls’ afternoon out, a date, or really for any banana bread or history lover! Can’t make it to the class? Stop by Edgar restaurant to try the “Mayflower banana bread a la mode” anytime!