Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Reveal - Challenge Airdate and Topic

A little over a month ago, we participated in a life changing experience -- Food Network's Challenge. You know, the show where you and an assistant have to create a cake masterpiece in 8 hours, completely edible, in one of the most high-stress, high-adrenaline competitions on national TV, with 4 of the best cake designers in the country, and numerous television cameras filming your every move. Challenge, indeed! Challenge starts long before you even board the plane, before the clock starts ticking and well before you roll out your fondant. Your "Challenge" starts the minute you accept the invitation!

Even before this specific Challenge topic was offered to Rick to compete in, we already knew he was going to do a competition in the near future, we just didn't know when it would be or what the topic would be. We had been in communications with the producers for quite some time and had turned away numerous Challenges because of our event bookings, which we would watch months later as they aired, and wondered when our time would come. When we finally had a date that worked, we had no idea how great the Challenge topic would be, and when it was offered to Rick, I nearly fell out of my chair with excitement. They could not have matched Rick up with a better topic -- of COURSE we'll take it! We also heard it was a very popular topic that everyone wanted. When we told Annie, his competition assistant, she was also very excited. Okay, we're a bit biased, but we both thought it was one of the best Challenge topics ever, and so lucky to be offered it for Rick's first Challenge!

Airdate: Rick and Annie's Challenge will be airing on the Food Network, Sunday, April 4th at 8pm Eastern time, which will be 2pm for all the Hawaii folks. That is Easter Sunday which should make it easier to remember.

Another reason to tune in aside from seeing 4 awesome cake designers in action is to see the brand spanking new AMAZING set, new host, and lots of surprises!

Now for the topic which so many of you have asked us about. The topic will be revealed in the form of a hint:

"Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?"

Any guesses?

Aloha, 'til next time!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Very Pretty 38

For the past 9 years, Rick has made me a birthday cake. It's something I get to look forward to each year, and I have to say, I feel pretty lucky to have my own private cake designer that I don't even have to book in advance. Over the weekend I turned the big 3-8! I know, probably a lot older than many of you. The same day I celebrated my birthday, Rick and I delivered a Jungle themed birthday cake to our client Kimberly, whose son as well as herself had birthdays the same week. When she and I compared our ages, we learned I was nearly a decade older than her. A word of advice, ask only people much older than you how old they are to avoid the surprising reactions. I usually get "What? You don't look that old."

I was completely enamored of my birthday cake when I first saw it at the restaurant where we dined with some friends. The "38" was unmistakable, I think even people at the far end of the restaurant could see it, and I had a good laugh about that. Was it Rick's sense of humor or a compositional decision, I'll never know for sure. Heck, if I can have a cake this pretty, I'll gladly turn 38! The photo above does not do the cake justice, but it was quite tall and had the most incredible intricate floral designs on it and layers of colors that made everyone happy. There was a group of people at a nearby table who came over and asked us who made it, and were probably a bit surprised to hear Rick say "I did." After finding out our company name, within minutes,they had pulled our website up on their phone. When the cake was cut and served we had enough leftover to give some to that same group for them to enjoy. We also gave a big slice to our server to enjoy. Between our couples day at the spa, the awesome birthday gifts, and dinner and cake with good friends, turning 38 was pretty darn great! Looking forward to the Big 3-9!

Join us next time as we reveal the answer to the burning question so many of you have been asking us. "When is the airdate?" for our Food Network Challenge and what is the topic.

Aloha, 'til next time!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Little Pony Cake

Codee's "My Little Pony" cake was a colorful explosion of CUTE! Our client had a My Little Pony and Rainbow themed birthday party so we knew this cake would be all about color. Placing the design completely in Rick's hands, he surprised her with a colorful composition of handpainted ponies frolicking amidst rainbow colored hearts, handcrafted butterflies and pink daisies. He continued the rainbow theme inside the cake with our signature Rainbowlicious flavor, an orange-infused white cake with mango and passionfruit fillings. While we weren't present to hear the "Oohs" and "Ahhs" when the cake was served, Codee's parents called from the party to let us know how much they loved the cake and how Rick had exceeded their expectations. All was happy in their Rainbow world and hearing how pleased they were made us happy in ours!

Aloha, 'til next time!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Love in Operatic Blues

Our couple Marjorie and Quinn who were married earlier this month, live the kind of romantic, jet-setting life many of us dream about. They are professional opera singers, who make their living making other people happy. During our design process, Marjorie and Quinn were apart much of the time, she in the States and him in Italy -- I know, poor thing, right? When we met with Quinn shortly before the wedding when he and his sister came in to choose their flavors, I couldn't help but be completely enamored of their lifestyle. Flying all over the world as an opera singer, getting paid to travel, what could be better than that? Like any career, it's a lot of hard work and flying from country to country performing can take a toll, he said. He seemed ready for a break and excited to get married to his lovely bride Marjorie, and we were excited for them and had a BEAUTIFUL cake designed. The wedding took place at an exquisite home on Round Top Drive, with a view of what felt like the entire island. They had an Italian themed wedding and hired Chef Donato Loperfido of Sapori Enoteca/Birreria and for dessert they served their wedding cake in our Strawberries Chantilly, Bananarama and Totally Turtle flavors.

Rick designed Marjorie and Quinn a 5-tier light blue color wedding cake, with grey accents and handcrafted blue flowers. It was incredibly striking in person, so much that we asked photographer Stephen Ludwig if he could photograph this cake before the event since we were already working with him on a photo shoot that weekend. What an amazing photo, and it so beautifully captures the color and detail of the cake. We wish Marjorie and Quinn all the best and hope they will make beautiful music together for many years to come!

Aloha, 'til next time!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pink Ladybug

She's cute, she's happy, she's a pink ladybug cake, made for Taylor's ladybug/garden themed birthday party. Rick made this ladybug cake more whimsical than the red one on our website. She had cute pink cheeks and a big smile and antennas made of hearts, and a round little body made of Hot Fudge Sundae. She was a big hit at Taylor's party and in the cakelava kitchen beforehand, where she was included in a photo shoot that took place that same weekend.

See our selection of sculpted cakes on
Aloha, til next time, when we reveal more of Rick's latest designs.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Japanese, Anyone?

A couple months ago we did a photo shoot with a Japanese magazine called Otona-No-Hawaii, which translates to "Luxury Hawaii" magazine. This oversized, glossy magazine highlights high-end businesses in Hawaii and is only available for purchase in Japan. They invited us to be featured in the magazine and all we had to do was come up with a shoot date that worked for us and the Executive Director, Creative Director, and a photographer all coming from Japan. This was no small feat, as they had appointments booked solid during their visit here and things were also hectic on our side. Once the date was booked, the group of 4, which included a translator, thank goodness because we can't read or write Japanese, came to our studio for the shoot. We were expecting having lights, cameras and Directors in our studio on a weekend in between events was going to be hairy, but from the second this gracious group walked through our door, it was smooth sailing, and we had a great time with them!

The Executive and Creative Directors were kind enough to send us a copy for us to have. In the first time in cakelava history, we are not able to read our printed press and are dying to know what the article says! We'll have to get someone to translate for us. Japanese, anyone? We received our copy yesterday and are so enamored with the pretty images in the 2-page spread, we almost forgot that we can't read any of the text. We fell in love all over again with our bride Krista's cake with the birds on it and the image is GORGEOUS. We were told their photographer is one of the best in Japan and it certainly shows. We've done many photo shoots over the years, but this was one of our most memorable. Looking at the article makes us happy. Even if we can't read the captions.

Aloha, 'til next time!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The View from The Top Tier

We are super excited to announce our newest cake-venture! cakelava has recently been added as a Top Tier vendor on Half Baked - The Cake Blog. Half Baked - The Cake Blog, is an amazing online cake resource site owned by cake designer Carrie Sellman. We have been aware of Carrie's beautiful work for a number of years and jumped at the chance to be included alongside some of the best designers in the industry including Confetti Cakes (who we interviewed in our Interviews from Cakeland series), Cake Girls, I Dream of Cake, Pink Cake Box, and more. We love Carrie's discerning taste and her passion for all things cake! Last week Carrie featured our couple Janelle and Alex's "Sweet Treat" wedding photographed by Stephen Ludwig Photography on her blog. Seeing the components of their wedding put together as a collage was so gorgeous, even Janelle herself chimed in to comment how pleased she was.

The view from the Top Tier is pretty damn sweet and we want to thank Carrie for including us!
If you haven't checked out Half Baked - The Cake Blog, you absolutely must take a visit over to indulge in this sweet site!

Aloha, 'til next time!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When Seattle Unites with Hawaii

We dedicate today's blog to all the Seattlelites out there. Those who have, at one time or another, lived there and were affected by the sights, sounds and smells of the city. Seattle will always have a special place in our hearts, as it is where Rick and I first met and fell in love. It is the place where my professional culinary career was launched, and a place where many of our friends and some family members live. Seattle pretty much has it all -- a vibrant art and music scene, the most beautiful summers, an amazing selection of cafes, some killer donut shops, and an open market that would make any foodie proud. The only downside is about 8 months of the year it rains.

There is a huge Seattle-Hawaii connection that exists. We regularly have clients getting married in Hawaii who live in Seattle. I can't tell you how many people we've met in Hawaii that at some point in their lives haven't lived in Seattle. When Justin approached us to make his and his good friend Sara's birthday cake, he mentioned the Hawaii-Seattle connection. Both he and Sara live or have lived in Seattle. Justin lives in Hawaii and Sara would be joining him to celebrate their birthdays. He asked if it would be possible for Rick to make a cake honoring both places, and Rick was excited to take on the project. He handcrafted a Seattle skyline on top of the cake and below it was a sandy beach and plumeria flowers. The flavor of their cake was a salute to Hawaii, and he chose our Rainbowlicious which has mango and passionfruit curd fillings in a cake the colors of the Rainbow. Hawaii is known for its rainbows, we see them almost daily here, sometimes 2 or 3 at a time! If you are a "Seattlelite", hopefully this cake will bring fond memories of your lovely city. Enjoy!

Aloha 'til next time!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Motorcycle Helmet with Badass Flames

It's the first day after the holidays and it's back to the cakes! This sculpted motorcycle helmet cake was ordered by one of our previous brides for her husband's 30th birthday. We knew he was a badass who rides both motorcycles and dirtbikes and the only appropriate birthday cake for someone so committed to riding dangerously was a helmet. Rick sculpted the helmet in black fondant and added the flames and visor. The flavor selected for the cake was our Banana Blueberry Mascarpone, one of the flavors in the couple's wedding cake more than a year ago, and they came back for more. Banana Blueberry Mascarpone, more gourmet than bad-ass, is so delicious and one of our favorite flavors on the menu! Happy Birthday Venelin!

Aloha, 'til next time!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mr. President "Snowbama" visits Kailua

It's been an exciting last few weeks to say the least! Less than a week after we returned from filming Rick's first Food Network Challenge competition, our sweet beach town of Kailua, where cakelava is based, was filled with excitement. Kailua was preparing to host President Obama ("Snowbama") and his family for their what has become, an annual Hawaiian Christmas vacation. President Obama and his family arrived on Christmas Eve to the same exquisite Kailua beach estate they stayed at last year. Their vacation home is about 2.5 miles from our cake studio. As to be expected, the island of Oahu and especially Kailua based businesses love hosting the Obama family. There have been signs in the windows of local businesses saying "the Obama Ohana" ("Ohana" meaning family), to show their support of the first family, but also hoping they may choose their establishment for their next meal or visit. One of the lucky Kailua businesses able to serve the President has been a small surf shop/shave ice store near the beach called Island Snow. It is no secret that President Obama loves his shave ice, as do most residents and visitors of Hawaii. It is one of Rick's and my favorite foods, and we eat it every chance we get. We even have a frequent buyer card at Island Snow. If you have had CNN on recently, you may have heard the term "Snowbama," a name which originated at Kailua's Island Snow and refers to the 3-flavor shave ice that President Obama ordered.

Yesterday, the first day of the New Year, President Obama was all over Kailua, and thank goodness so were we! As many of you who follow us on Facebook or Twitter know, I had the great honor of getting to shake President Obama's hand. Rick and I were on the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base with our friend Eric and saw the President exiting from the fitness center on base. We knew ahead of time he was going to be there and came prepared with our cameras. As President Obama turned to the crowd, he started shaking people's hands. Due to security measures you are not allowed to reach out your hand, he has to choose to shake it, and luckily he felt inclined to shake mine. What an amazing experience and thankfully Rick and Eric had camera's handy and documented this milestone event! Below are some of the photos we took yesterday, including the photo of him shaking my hand. I was star struck afterwards, we all were, and if we weren't headed to brunch afterwards I wouldn't have washed my hand. Ha ha. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life and a incredible way to start the New Year! Enjoy the pics!

the photo Rick snapped of President Obama shaking my hand. As you can see, the perspective wasn't ideal but he was that close!

The shot taken by Eric as President Obama shakes my hand

Happy New Year to everyone! It's a new year, a new decade and we can't wait to see what happens in 2010. We'll be back soon with more cakes and more news!

Aloha, 'til next time!

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