The Awkward Business of Catering

Maybe in the future, a person will be able to be in two places at once. But considering there aren’t even Hover Boards yet, I’m just not sure I’m going to witness it any time soon. So, for the time being, and last I checked, Ashley and I were solely in charge of baking and catering entire events by ourselves. And glamorous, it is not.

 

Don’t get me wrong, this is our dream! But there are a lot of….we’ll go with- comical awkwardness that comes with the job.

 

You show up at a red carpet VIP event lookin’ intimidatingly FLY. You’re starving because this particular party decided not to have any entrées and hardly any eatable appetizers, because if there were, they’d be gone in two seconds, amirite? So, you get a few over-priced drinks, and realize that you’re starving for something sweet. You notice a dessert table over yonder with a large array of delicious-looking treats – none of which are cakes and cupcakes, cuz what is this 2007? Come-ahn. – and you see two young women standing by the table.

 

You lock eye-contact and the girl at the table looks away as you approach. She smiles at you with a smile that seems genuine enough, but has a weird awkwardness that you can’t place. You say, “Hello, what do we have here? Oh, this is just DANGEROUS!” And she says in her most ‘Archer’-esque high pitched voice “DAYYYYYYY-NGER ZOOONEEEEE!” a little too loudly.

 

The other girl, trying to cover this unfortunate incident, quickly says “Here we have some Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Wookies…” But the music is pretty loud, and so you say “WHAT?!” and the girl is forced to yell “SEA SALT CHOCOLATE CHIP WOOKIES!...COOKIES, they’re cookies.” You get a cookie, enjoy it IMMENSELY (definitely more than you thought you would), and leave the table forever, not bothering to pick up a card. You probably whisper to your date as you both look over and then walk away.

 

Let me make one thing clear, THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

 

Please pretend that was a horrible scene in a teen-angst movie, and allow us to go back a little to the beginning…

 


As usual, Ashley and I are sitting on the couch drinking wine when it occurs to us that our event is in less than 24 hours according to the picture above. Now, we’ve done most or all of the preparation that is possible to do ahead of time. Please understand, everything we make is fresh, and everything for any event needs to be made the day of, or at the earliest, the night before. So, this is perfect for procrastinators, because the excuse for not preparing is, “We can’t!”


Assuming that we already have thought of our décor, and prepped all our catering platters, and gotten together all the name cards and promotional materials, there could be a good chance that last time we were at the kitchen, we pre-made some cookie dough or s’mores dough, but I wouldn’t always count on it.


So now, we’re in panic mode. We can only use our kitchen for a certain allotment of hours, and since we share this commercial kitchen, the only hours that we can use it are from 8pm until 8am. So we do all the prep work we can, and then haul over to the kitchen for a nice 12-hour middle of the night baking session.


Ashley brings her computer so that we can watch Netflix and listen to music while we bake. After all, this is our dream! This is the time we’re most alive! When we’re falling asleep with our heads literally IN THE OVEN, or crying at RDJ in Heart and Souls, trying not to ACTUALLY make cookies with “blood, sweat, AND tears”.


IF we can get through the night without incident (i.e. Accidentally getting locked in the walk-in freezer, or accidentally locking us out of the entire kitchen facility with the oven on, but that’s a story for another blog post…), then we’re usually having a blast. We truly love to bake and so the feet and lower back pain is totally worth it, as is the lack of sleep. We are actually doing what we set out to do, and tomorrow a hundred people will be eating all these delicious treats, and they will love them and that will make us happy. We’re in high spirits.


Then comes 8:01am. We very, very, slowly, pack the car, and head home. We power-nap if we’re lucky. We wake back up at about 9:30 am when we furiously try to get ready by putting coffee grinds on the bags under our eyes, or putting baby powder in our hair to make it look “fresh” ---ok that’s just one of us, I won’t say which. Then we try to put on something glamorous. Because we are glamorous people, damn it, and we can totally fit in to the glamorous vip clubs. #glamour 


We somehow are still rushing out the door, trying to carry every single thing ourselves to make it in one single trip while our boyfriends sit on the couch sipping iced coffees. Which come to think of it, is probably all we managed to eat this morning…


We are only driving 6 miles, but this is LA and so that will take 20 minutes.


Umm...I think it's gonna take a little longer than that, Daddy....

Umm...I think it's gonna take a little longer than that, Daddy....

 

We get there, half awake, try to find the assistant or coordinator, and ask where our table is. They show us to a strangely lit, and awkwardly shaped area and we set up. We can totally roll with this. At this point, it’s still all about the fun and we’re having a blast so far. We make sure everything is perfect, and say hello to the host, but they are busy rushing around making sure everything else is in its place. Then we wait.

 

People start to arrive, they’re filling up the room, munching on snacks and getting drinks at the bar, and our feet are killing us. We are exhausted. We haven’t eaten anything. Ashley starts to eat about 5 Cinna-mon Roll Cookies, and I start to snack on about 6 of the Rice Krispin Glovers, and the sugar is helping to make us jittery, which we mistake as pure energy. Combine this all, with the fact that a live human is approaching us. We panic. We forgot that now we have to be “on” and talk to people, and BOY are we bad at small-talk.

 

This human is absolutely beautiful and dressed to the nines in a gown, and probably had her make up done by some sort of professional. Here’s where the anxiety sets in, we start to notice how obvious it is that we’ve gotten virtually no sleep whatsoever. She’s super nice and makes a sweet comment about how dangerous it is at this table because of how delicious all the treats look, and how hard it will be to resist and what is everything? And I panic because I’m awkward at taking compliments and decide to try and be funny by quoting an adult cartoon. Ashley steps in and tells her about the Wookies and she may or may not get the Star Wars reference but it’s really loud in there, and somehow screaming a really bad baking/Star Wars pun in a large group of well-groomed people seemed inappropriate at that moment in time, and so she just takes a cookie and we watch her eat it.

 

Yes, as if our performance wasn’t hideous enough, we actually stand there and WATCH YOU as you eat something that we baked. We’re not sure what else to do – we have already gone to the bathroom a million times, and taken a little lap around, but obviously we don’t know anyone. So we just….stand there….and watch you eat.

 

And the conversation usually goes like this:

 

“Oh my god this is the BEST cookie I’ve EVER had!”

“Seriously? Oh my gosh thank you SO MUCH!”

“Did YOU make these yourself?”

“Yes this is our company!”

“Wow!” *takes card…maybe….and leaves*

 

We are flattered beyond words, but then the realization sets in of how even MORE awkward that is: that it’s not two professional cater waiters, but the actual owners of the company, who ALSO bake, AND who cater the event. We are supposed to be good at talking to people and selling ourselves, and making our company sound interesting and delicious, and all we do is yell nerdy words at you and watch you eat chocolate.

 

One day, we will be able to afford our own wonderful commercial kitchen that we can use whenever we wish to, and hire our own employees who professionally serve food, and have a super bubbly personality, and are splendid at small talk. But for now, we will write this off to purposely wanting to make our company the most personal it can be, and leave it at that.

 

And the more I think about how lucky I am to be baking all night with my best friend, watching nerdy movies as we work, and having dance parties to the Pitch Perfect soundtrack while stupidly handling very hot metal sheets, and how our names are on the cards, and our recipes are making people smile, and how WE DID THAT OURSELVES, -the more I think about how ridiculous it is that “being tired” is the only complaint I can come up with? That means it’s a job well done, and a day not wasted, and I can’t help but think that Beyonce would be proud....for a second, until she sees us trip and fall down the stairs...