Friday, September 25, 2009

Duff and Geoff - The Dynamic Duo

Welcome back, sweet readers…. So you want to hear more about the cake superhero, Chef Duff Goldman, and his merry minion, Geoff Manthorne?? Well, you have come to the right place.

This past Tuesday was such an incredible experience to be able to celebrate with one of our customers, A&P, along with 50 contest winners and their guests, and – of course – Chef Duff Goldman and Geoff Manthorne (of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, Maryland) at the A&P 150th Birthday Party, hosted by Blue Bunny® Ice Cream.

The night before (Monday night), we were informed by one of Duff’s staff (his brother, to be exact) that the cake was to be finished around midnight and that one of the bakery employees would hit the road, cake loaded in the van, bound for New York City. His arrival time? 2:30 a.m. Meanwhile, Duff and Geoff would board a train Tuesday morning, arriving in NYC at approximately 8:50 a.m. We later were informed by Duff that because of our project, a new rule has been established at Charm City Cakes:

“No more cake orders for delivery on a Tuesday.”

By 9:30 a.m., we began to grow anxious at the word of Duff’s arrival. The report finally came around 9:45 a.m. – “Duff is in the Park!”….meaning, Chef Duff Goldman – The Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes” – had called to say that they were driving around Central Park in an attempt to find the Boathouse and that he feared his driver was a little lost.

Moments later, the Charm City Cakes van appeared, followed by Chef Duff, himself, and Geoff, along with Mark the road-weary cake transporter. The three of them carefully carried the main cake in – a vintage ice cream delivery truck. Then, armloads of cardboard flats containing each piece of the cake, molded from fondant icing and gum paste. Once everything was settled inside, the real work began.

The three of them set to work to finish the cake, carefully placing each piece, wiring the cake for lights and sound, smoothing out edges, shaping, molding, fussing. It was like watching a fine sculptor as he worked his medium. Two hours later, we were posing with each other next to the finished cake and Duff proudly displaying the mechanics of the dry ice smoke mist and the working horn: “Aah-ooooo-ga! Aah-ooooo-ga!” It was priceless. He was so proud of himself and we were speechless.

Duff and Geoff graciously interacted and posed with corporate executives and laughed and joked with everyone. They posed, unflapping-ly, for nearly 200 photos with our party guests (everyone got a personal photo of themselves with Duff, Geoff, and the cake). They signed autographs, listened to stories and humbly reacted to swooning fans.

The thing that amazed me the most was the number of young people who are impacted by Chef Duff and the work that he does with Charm City Cakes. Young children, fans of the show, tried to contain their excitement as they met the dynamic duo and told them how much they love the show and how much they want to grow up to be a pastry chef, too. I am also wildly aware of the impact Duff has on these kids because I see it in my own home. My own two boys and I love to watch the show. Both of my sons ask questions about culinary schools and how did Duff get his start? The thing about Duff is that he is a great role model…..he is edgy, cool, a talented artist. In fact, he makes art cool. He inspires our youth to think about career options that are not necessarily the standard doctor-lawyer-engineer-stockbroker (not there is one single thing wrong with these careers!) types but to also consider careers in art, culinary skills, music, and the like.

He wears a backwards baseball cap and an assortment of sports jerseys, baggy jeans, and steel toed shoes. He looks more like a character off of the Discovery Channel’s “Orange County Choppers” or “Ink” than a cake-decorator. One of my co-workers commented that Duff just seems like “your favorite drinking buddy”.

Geoff is an artist-type. Quiet. Un-assuming. Quirkily dressed. Humble. Thoughtful. Sincere. I would liken him to that quiet friend you can always count on to be there for you.

This pair definitely puts the “charm” in Charm City Cakes and we were honored to have them involved with our program. We look forward to working with them again and there is some talk of future meetings and grand ideas…so stay tuned. You never know when these guys might show up again in a future blog post.

Keep reading “The Sweet Life”… week’s posts include a funny take on “those kinds of emails” (you know the ones!) and another birthday……but we are just three posts away from a really fun blog entry……you won’t believe it until you read it.

Until next time, I remain….1SweetMama


Anonymous said...

3 weeks from fun? Hmmm what could it be?

1SweetMama said...

I guess you will just have to wait to see....

1SweetMama said...

Well...let me just clarify. I just said I would post something really cool in 3 posts from now. Not saying I am going to do anything fun in three weeks. Maybe I will write about something really interesting that already took place or will take place in the distant future. Who knows???