Reality TV is No Cake Walk

Starting a blog is a little strange. I mean what do you tell people about first? I decided I would skip all the hoopla of telling you about myself, boring, and get right to telling you about my foray into reality television. Yes, I was on T.V. Cake Walk to be exact. And let me tell you, armchair cake designing is nothing like actually being there, in front of people you don’t know, in a kitchen you aren’t familiar with, and under conditions you are not usually under. Cameras, lights, time restrictions, rules all of it was not conducive to making a cake. Was it crazy fun? Yes. Would I do it again? In a second.

Let me take you back to the beginning of my reality T.V. adventure.

Last spring I received an email from Buck Productions inviting me to become part of their new T.V. show Cake Walk on Slice Television that would be airing later that fall. They asked me to contact them if I was interested, and after 10 or 15 minutes of wondering if I had just been punked and hyperventilating at the idea that I hadn’t, I made the call. Everyone was very nice and very helpful, and after making double sure that THEY had the right person, I said “YES!” I mean c’mon as terrifying as the idea of well, making an ass of myself on T.V. was, it was after all an opportunity that doesn’t come your way often. So the next thing I know I am wrangling up an assistant to be on the show with me and went headlong into this adventure!

The next few weeks would be filled with copious amounts of legal papers and rules, dates, phone calls and so on. I needed to provide them with a ton of information, sign things, organize everything and of all things make an audition video. Me? An audition video? What the heck was I going to say? What was I going to do? I finally decided I would do what I do best and talk about cakes. And since I have a little edge, and a lot of attitude I thought I would just be me. So audition tape made and delivered, all that was left was waiting to hear back about when this event was going to happen. Here’s the finished audition video:


 

Caroline, my cake assistant

I mentioned needing an assistant right? That would be Caroline. Caroline is a friend of my son’s and the only person I know that knew her way around a cake pan other than me. After all she went to school to be a pastry chef. Caroline is this spunky kid that became a family friend and the first person to ask me if I had ever thought about making cakes for a living.  So I got on the phone and called her and so became the team of Kristy and Caroline, it was that easy.

I finally got the call about when I would be coming in to film. All in all I wasn’t too nervous about any of this. I had, in hindsight, naively talked myself into thinking that all I had to do was make a wedding cake, a HUGE 31/2 foot wedding cake, but none the less still a wedding cake.  It wasn’t until I was on the set,  in the actual kitchen and voice from beyond yelled “Go” or “Start” or something to that effect and a cameraman got 6 inches away from my hands, that I thought I MAY be in for more than I bargained for!

The first thing I did was put the wrong cake tier on my support and things probably went downhill from there. We had come up with the idea of doing a wedding cake on top of a tree stump. Seemed reasonable, after all the couple was looking for “woodsy elegant” so it all seemed to fit. We thought we would do each tier to coincide with the, “something old, something new,” shtick that most brides follow. Our first tier was to be vintage looking, the next tier was to be funky and modern and green to tie in with the brides love of nature, the 3rd tier was something borrowed. This tier proved to be the most challenging, then of course the something blue tier, oh the blue tier. Put that baby on a tree stump made of cake and Bob’s yer uncle right…..wrong! Needless to say I was happy that I have a picture gallery on my website and a few years of cake street cred behind me because this thing was a disaster. It was time consuming and exhausting and like I said earlier, crazy fun.

So after 3 hours it came time for the cake tasting portion of the show. I was most nervous about that. I mean I can explain away an ugly cake, blame the stress, the time, the studio, but putting a crappy tasting cake out in the world did not thrill me. Thank God the judges liked my cake. And after a few deep breathes, it was back to work. 7 hours later there it was, my cake. I really don’t know what else to say. It was complete, we didn’t drop it and it wasn’t tooooo bad. I keep telling myself that anyway!

The judges for those of you who didn’t see the show, were Alexandria Pellegrino of Cake Opera Co., Gordon Bailey of Lot 30, and David MacCarfrae of David Cakes of Distinction. Funny thing about David, as I walked onto the set I kept whispering to Caroline that he looked familiar to me. He should have, I watch his videos and look at his cakes all the time. I was so focused on the task at hand that I didn’t realize I just watched one of his videos the night before. I will forever feel a little foolish about that one. But in my defense, he wasn’t sporting his signature white Tee.

So with judges and host, Caroline Rhea all in place I presented my cake to these cake/food experts and hope like hell I don’t get torn apart for this atrocity to cake. I didn’t. They were kind and understanding and the whole afternoon was giggles. Caroline Rhea could never quite get over the fact that I have 6 kids and referred to me as “Kristy, mother of 6” for the bulk of the afternoon.

Now came time for the final judging, the moment we were working towards all day. I was tired and terrified all in one. That combination makes for some interesting self-talk I might add. And as I stood up there praying for this to end and spare me any more torture the verdict was in. Second place. I was over joyed. Second place. Suddenly this weight lifted and I was happy with my place on this very strange, exciting day. I learned a lot about myself; one is that apparently I swear A LOT when I am under pressure. I met a lot of nice people and did something that was new and interesting. But best of all I had a great story to tell, all in all not a bad deal.

To see my finished cake, watch Slice’s Cake Walk online by clicking here.