I was thrilled when Sweet Element was offered the opportunity to participate in the Vow to Wow launch party for Rami Kashou‘s new bridal line for bebe last month at bebe’s SoHo location in NYC, as I have been a fan of Rami’s work ever since his first stint on Project Runway.
The cake above was inspired by this layered silk tafetta wedding gown. So why the delay in posting you may be asking? Well … it’s taken me a little while to get over the unexpected drama that completely threw me for a loop! (There’s a hint in bottom of the photo above of me & Rami.)
Everything started out well, and I set up my table above with chocolates, a few display cakes inspired by Rami’s new gowns, my portfolio and some business cards. Initially I thought that this would be an invitation only event, but I was surprised to see that bebe kept it’s doors open to all shoppers. As you might imagine, when you’re giving out free chocolate – it goes quickly! Within twenty minutes, all 100 pieces of chocolate were gone and I had one of the corporate marketing folks from bebe come over and ask if I had any more chocolate or any other food, as I couldn’t have an empty table. I explained that her staff had specifically ordered just 100 bon bons, but I did bring two sheet cakes that were supposed to be cut and served by their catering staff. After grumbling that she was going to have words with her staff, she then disappeared to find the sheet cakes that I had left in the kitchen for the catering staff.
Half an hour later, the corporate marketing person was still missing, and I was left wondering what was happening with these two sheet cakes, as I didn’t see any catering staff. At that point, one of the security people from bebe came over, and seeing my quizzical expression, explained that there were no plates or utensils for the sheet cakes, and they were sending someone to Duane Reade (a local pharmacy) to get something to serve the cake with. With the event nearly half over, as it was only two hours in duration, I was seriously wondering if these cakes would even get served.
Oh, but then *I* got served. I was mortified when the staff brought up both sheet cakes, which were supposed to be cut and plated in a back kitchen and NEVER meant to be placed on my white linen table! If that wasn’t bad enough, the staff thought it was helpful to precut the cakes in a very odd fashion, and not supply me with anything to serve it with … so I ended up using two forks (or spoons!) to serve up the odd shaped pieces of cake, while suppressing tears. Where was the catering staff I was promised?! If I had known there was no catering staff I never would have made sheet cakes (which by the way, the corporate staff specifically asked for), and would definitely have opted for mini cupcakes as I usually do for these types of events.
Here’s a photo of the cake horror that I took with my cell phone. That’s devil’s food cake with nutella buttercream on the left and red velvet with cream cheese frosting on the right. And yes, those are paper BOWLS that the staff ran out to get. And as if that wasn’t bad enough … the staff only ran to get 30 or so bowls and 48 forks, so within ten minutes, I was offering people cake on napkins sans utensils as that’s all I had.
I honestly think I might have just packed up if Mr. Sweet Element hadn’t shown up as moral support during this disaster. It was a small consolation to see the corporate marketing person felt terrible and came over to apologize for the mix up, as she saw how mortified I looked when they dropped those two very NOT for presentation cakes on my table for me to serve.
So … lesson learned … I will now ALWAYS quadruple check with any event planners to ensure that everything promised – like a catering staff with PLATES & FORKS will actually be there!
Here’s a shot of Rami with the bebe staff. And yes, that’s me at my table in the back right corner, posting the cake horror on twitter.