On July 20, 2016 at about 10.30am I received a panicked phone call from Carlene, one of the contestants from Channel 9’s TV show, The Block.
Carlene was at The Little Big Company and had asked my lovely friends, owners of The Little Big Company, Lou and Jason if they knew anyone who could make her some pink and white food for a 1st birthday party.
Carlene and her husband Dan had been set a challenge. Dan was to build a table at Footprint Furniture and Carlene needed to decorate the table. She had been given the theme of a 1st birthday party.
The brief was that she needed ‘pink and white food and a cake, maybe some cupcakes’ and that it ‘didn’t matter what the food tasted like, it just needed to look good.’ Well, visuals aren’t exactly my forte (or so I thought!), I’m all about the taste, so it took me a moment to wrap my head around that! The phone call was brief and to the point. I asked when and where she needed the food delivered, and what her budget was and away I went.
They only snag was that I was already in the midst of cooking orders for local families, so I quickly finished the lasagna and sausage roll order that was being collected at 12, sent a quick ‘I’m having a reality TV emergency, is it OK if I deliver your order tomorrow’ message to everyone else I was cooking for and turned my thoughts to The Block.
I started by making a chocolate cake and some chocolate cupcakes in pink and white striped wrappers. I iced these with buttercream icing and dusted them in pink petal dust. I displayed these on my Tara Dennis designed two tiered slate A Frame stand, and Carlene added the pink butterflies.
Because the table was being marked on visual presentation I tried to think of different ways of presenting items. I made some white chocolate mousse using pink marshmallows and topped them off with fresh raspberries. These were served in shot glasses.
I then got into the hang of the pink and white theme and cut some watermelon into hearts, which to be honest is the only thing you would let your 1 year old eat from this entire table!
I made some rose scented meringues and dusted them with edible gold glitter.
I also dipped some cherries in white chocolate and made some strawberry and marshmallow skewers. Super effective!
In hindsight perhaps I should have only used pink and red smarties on the smartie cookies, but I was feeling a little frantic at that point!
Some popcorn in my bamboo wooden cone holder finished the table off.
Last but not least I decorated the cake. And O-Calamity! The cake came out as flat as a tack, so I needed to pump it up with cream and disguised its flaws with fresh roses.
All in all the party food preparation took about 4.5 hours and I was pretty impressed with the final result! Carlene had got some confetti balloons, flamingos, lolly jars, two tier cake stands and other party gear from The Little Big Company. The table looked spectacular.
Just before I left I handed around a box of my Salted Caramel Slice. I didn’t want to leave without feeding someone! They began filming but I couldn’t stay as it was time for me to pick up my children.
On the night of October 11th, 2016 the challenge finally aired. The judges for the evening were Dan and Dani, former contestants from The Block. They chose Dan and Carlene’s table as the winner for styling (hurrah) therefore awarding them $5000.
During this season of The Block Dan and Carlene have been portrayed as the villains of the show, so during the edit they were only seen saying something nasty about the other contestants food, and nothing about me or my food or Lou & Jason and the day they spent at The Little Big Company. Such a shame, but that’s TV for you, I guess!
When I went onto the set I was mic’d up, but clearly didn’t say anything funny or interesting or controversial enough to land myself on TV (phew) but my right arm did!
BIG thanks to Lou and Jason who recommended me for the gig. If you want your party to look as fabulous as this, I’d recommend you check out their website or pop into their Melbourne store located at 2-12 Alexandra Parade, Clifton Hill, Victoria.