Sunday, November 11, 2012

Showdown at the Chambers Corral

If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you know a two things about Amy from Mimi Weddings.  First, she and her cohort "Amy Blonde" are two of the most talented wedding designers on the planet.  Second...She's trying to kill me.

I honestly can't put my finger on when it started, or just quite why, but make no mistake about it, this girl is dead set on putting me in an early grave.

Whether it be hiring a group of Irish Step Dancers stomping their pretty little curly heads within five feet of a cake that took me weeks to engineer, getting me to set up a cake in an un-air conditioned tent in record heat indexes, a beautiful cake display filled with floating candles and blossoms that made my cake stand hydroplane like an air-hockey puck, or talking me into letting her drive a four tier cake five hours away to a set up without me, I can always count on her to push the limits of my overly precautious cakey ways to the point of certain cardiac incident.  If I had a dime for every time I heard those sweet words "don't freak out, but..." pass her lips, I could retire tomorrow. 

So, when I heard that she, my mortal cake enemy, was engaged, I braced for the worst.  What fresh hell could be awaiting me?

Imagine my relief when she announced that she didn't want a wedding cake...and subsequent terror when she clarified that she wanted FIVE wedding cakes.  Trying to kill me.  After calling my shrink to up my meds, I happily met with her to work up some options.

The wedding would be Urban Western in design.

Ah, a showdown, you say.  My mind went to a dusty abandoned western street.  Me with my rolling pin, Amy with her swatch-book, squinting into the desert sun.  "They tell me you are a cake decorator with True Grit" she sneers, her trigger finger twitching toward her design book.

I can always count on the Mimis to come up with something unique.  But once she started laying out her color swatches, decor inspiration and layouts of her fabulous invitations, I found myself in that familiar Mesmerized Mimi-fied state.  That one in which I am so enamoured with their ideas, that I'll agree to anything.

Copy the invitations printed on wood veneer, I'm in, mimic the branding iron monogram that Chambers would be using on the Filets, no problem, copy the Palomino mural in their showroom, no problem.  Just send me a picture of it...

She's trying to kill me again.

I get this all the time.  People who think I am far more talented than I am.  This mural was far beyond my  range of cakey talent.  Period.  But I wouldn't let her get me so easily.  So, I rifled through my bag of tricks.  What if we played off of the wooden invitations and the look of the branded monogram?  I pitched the concept to my tormentor, and she...loved it.

Here's the thing about Amy.  Like any good Western villain, she lets me dig my own grave.  She, like any truly creative person, knows the secret to getting the best work out of her vendors.  Let them run with it.  That's precisely why I love/hate what she does.  She brings me a payload of fabulous design ideas and inspiration, then trusts me to push my own limits.  Ooh, maybe she's trying to get me to kill myself?

The wedding day came, and I had the honor of actually attending her reception.  Relieved to find that the set up was not in front of a shooting gallery or some other Western themed obstacle to my sanity, I changed out of my pink chef coat and into girl clothes to enjoy the evening.  And what a fabulous event it was.  The Urban Western design scheme was unique and exquisite, a perfect balance of horseshoes and boutique hotel.  The food was a combination of haute cuisine and comfort food (passed hors d'oeuvres including paper cones filled with french fries) (cocktails along with trays of mini diet coke bottles with limes and straws to sip from).  Not sure what to expect from a planner's own wedding, I was delighted to see that Amy did what she does best.  She entertains.  She shared her and Joe's favorite things with the people they love.

The look was elegant, the food divine, and when it came time for the party to start, they did not disappoint.  We arrived upstairs to the dance and were greeted by a photo booth, pinball machine, and temporary tattoo station.  I want a kitty tattoo.  Who wouldn't?  But just in case, you could get a cowboy tattoo if you'd rather.  But wait.  I'm allergic to cats.  Could this be the final attempt on the cake lady's life?  To survive every other evil Mimi plot, only to succomb to an allergic reaction to a temporary tattoo of an adorable kitty sitting on a couch.  My mind reeled.  My thoughts turned to a young Mattie Ross, pulling the trigger that avenged her father's murder only to be kicked back into a pit of rattlesnakes.  To face her mortal enemy and emerge victorious, only to succomb to the bite of a lowly reptile...kitty...kittysnake. Say it isn't so, this most cruel of endings!!!! 

It isn't so.

So, I will play some pinball, have my picture snapped with my tuxedo-clad husband...and I shall ride off into my Urban Western Sunset, slinging my rolling pin onto my back.  And I will live to bake another day.

Many thanks to the unbelievably talented Studio 306 for these beautiful photos!  We loves us some Marc and Leda!!

Decorator's Notes:

Amy and Joe's cakes featured one of my favorite decorating techniques....hand-painted wood grain fondant.  We have finally decided to reveal how we do it in a photo tutorial (paired with an adorable mesh stencil set) available on our Evil Cake Genius site HERE
It is an incredibly simple and effective technique!

The Chocolate Horseshoes were created using a mold that we found at Sugar Delites.  It's a great mold.  We used a little powder color to make them look a bit rusty. Mmmm....rusty.

The metallic gold accents on their cakes were painted with a mixture of our Gold Powder and Vodka.  It is truly the most beautiful gold we've ever used.  This is also available on our Evil Cake Genius Site.  Click on the link below to shop.


Six Bittersweets said...

Wow you are amazing! But I have to admit it's a bit re-assuring to know that even you have limits. Cake-painting seems so so scary to me since it's not like you can ball up the paper and start over...did you use ganache under all these cakes? Are the wood grain ones wrapped in fondant or some sort of chocolate?

I'm no stranger to digging my own grave as well. The executive assistant at my office gave me a lot of freedom in designing our holiday party cake and I decided to make an upright topper in the SDVOSB logo design: Now I'm freaking out about how fragile it will be and how to get a wire in it so I can stand it upright. Any ideas would be so much appreciated as you're one of my greatest cake heros! Thanks!


Evil Cake Genius said...

Hi Xiaolu,
All the cakes were frosted in buttercream before they were covered in fondat. The wood grain ones are paneled in fondant. We roll the fondant out and let it sit a couple days so it sets up. Then trim it to the size of the cake.

It's hard to say on the logo since we aren't actually making it. My advice is to make at least one back-up! If you have time make a practice one. Once it is dry stick it in syrofoam or something and see how it holds up. Good luck!

Six Bittersweets said...

Wow I am seriously in awe of your work. Thanks for the tips!

Kevin [Pahaly] said...

Don't get me wrong, your cake skills are amazing...but your stories are so captivating. I laugh so hard every time! Well done on everything.

Do you come to any TCWP events? If so, I would love to meet you sometime!

Kevin (Pahaly)

Evil Cake Genius said...

Thanks Kevin, Especially for forgiving my crappy grammar. As for TCWP events, unfortunately, the Evil Cake Genius rarely gets out of the bakery for any extended period of time. I think it's best to keep society safe from the likes of me.

Bellenza Wedding Bistro said...

This is a wonderfully (and hilariously) written post! You have both fabulous cake creation skills AND writing talent. Kudos on the 5 cakes!