Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hilton Head Island's 20th Annual Taste of the Season

This blog will be written in 3 parts. First I will explain the Taste of the Season event, second I will explain the Cake Design Showcase portion of the event, and lastly I will tell you about some awesome people, without whom my participation in the event would not have been possible. Buckle up...this blog will be a long one!

Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce host an annual event called 'Taste of the Season'. If you are unfamiliar with the event, it is a celebration of the beginning of the holiday season in which area restaurants and local chefs prepare and serve samplings of their finest cuisine. Around 1000 guests attend the event annually and over 30 area chefs participate. It is great food, great fun and very very festive. It really kicks off the holiday season each year. This year the event was held at The Sea Pines Country Club, which is a very large and beautiful venue...perfect for this event. The title of 'Best Cuisine' went to Aqua Grille and Lounge Executive Chef Eric Seaglund. We're so incredibly happy for them!! Very much deserved.

This year, the Taste of the Season also hosted a Best Holiday Cake Contest in which 5 area confectionary artists, including myself competed for the title of 'Best Holiday Cake'. We were asked to present a cake which depicts the holidays and what they mean to us, which will also be served at the event. Bluffton Today and The Island Packet both wrote great articles on the event in which myself and the other artists were featured, click on the links for the papers to check out the articles.

Sheri's Edible Designs took top prize of 1st Place with our stacked gift box cake, complete with edible bows and decorations, trimmed in edible glitter and topped with a snowman. ( See Photos at the end of the blog post). The cake took me 2o hours to create and would serve roughly 500. Not to mention in weighed a ton! It was a very fun project, but very labor intensive...I'm also 8 months pregnant. Whew! In the end, all of the artists displayed awesome cakes and I was so happy to be invited to be amongst everyone at the event.

Our journey to the event almost didn't happen though and here is the "behind the scenes" story.-

Anytime you create a towering cake which has to defy gravity, you would like to make sure you know your boundaries, which include width, weight and of course....height. Well, I measured all aspects of those boundaries and came up with the magic numeric limitations. I knew how tall ( or short) the cake had to be to fit into the delivery vehicle. I measured and measured again. Well, we were asked by event coordinators to begin set up between 3:30 and 4:45 so we would be set 45 minutes prior to event start time. With this in mind, we set out to leave the shop with all our gear around 3pm.
We go to load the car and LOW AND BEHOLD THE CAKE IS TOO TALL!!! Yes, 1 inch too tall. There is no way to take away height and no way to maneuver it to fit. At that moment, my hard tireless efforts seemed for was too late to find a backup.
In all the chaos and clamor I decided to do what I know best to a friend for help. That's just what I did.....

You see, Gary and I have these amazing friends, Jamie and Liz Bodie. We work very closely with the Bodie family, both personally and professionally. They own which hosts their two businesses- Jamie's Porta Party ( an amazing DJ and entertainment company) as well as LowCountry Lights, which cater to all your lighting needs, from LED's to lighted dance floors, monograms to japanese lanterns.....they do it all and I have to say are darn amazing at it! As much as the Bodie's are great business partners, they are wonderful people...eager and willing to lend a hand to those in need.
I frantically called Liz with a message something like "Liz if you get this in the next 10 minutes CALL ME!!!!!!"
Of course she did and then I asked " can I borrow your van?" haha like who does that?? I thought for certain anyone I asked would say...."what? Like borrow MY car, like," But Liz said "Would you like the big van, or the Suburban?" Priceless. Gracious. Giving......that's a cool lady right there! I'm not trying to schmooze and sing tireless praises for any old reason.....Liz and Jamie literally saved the competition for me. We went to get their super cool, super big van and without time to thank them, literally sped off to make up for lost time. I think my husband got back to my store, loaded the cake and accompanying supplies, and got us to Sea Pines faster than I can tie my shoes ( 8 months pregnant anyway)! It is all a blur and record time. We got to Sea Pines and set up with literally, honestly and in no way exaggerated 2 minutes to spare before event start time. Whew....not to mention we set up the table with the beautiful uplighting Jamie and Liz so kindly borrowed us moochers the day before!

It is safe to say I owe them some cake! So, please call these kind folks for all your DJ and Lighting needs!!! I mean it!

Thanks again guys, everyone for your support and well wishes.....we did it!

On to some pictures!

Photo Special To the Chamber of Commerce- photo by Rob Kaufman

Photo by Rob Kaufman

Just a couple photos of Jamie and Liz's handy work!

Photo by Mira Photography