Circus Freak

Episode 1:'s Associate Editor laments that lack of live animals at parties today.

Hello there Co. I'm just going to call you the Co. because aren't we all a part of it? We're all part of the Roblé revolution. At least I hope so. Let's all come along on this catering carnival with him shall we?

First off, how precious is Mr. Ali? He's not making food for any particular zipcode (which is good because I eating food that hyper-local is way too Portlandia for my taste). He's going to create amazing parties with his sister and all their wackadoo friends. It's going to be great!

All Eyes on Me at the Center of the Ring. . .
Roblé's first client is Kerry, who wants her 25th birthday party to be ridiculous. She's thinking circus-themed (unfortunately not Britney Spears "Circus"-themed), but what she actually has in mind is carnival. She wants it to be scary "a little bit," which I believe puts it at Lady Gaga video-level as obossed to Saw-themed.

But what's most terrifying is her list of demands. No green food, tequila just for her (she doesn't care what other people drink), K's drizzled on every bite (thankfully that was axed right off the bat), and a monkey. I understand the last request because I have never had a birthday party without a monkey. Without one what's the point? Sans simian friend, it's just a small dinner.

And so the gang gets to work. . . meaning Shawn tried on corsets for the circus performers to wear.

I Heart Artie. . .and Really I Mean Everyone
The Co. itself is filled with the splendid sort of folks you can't help but love. I find myself incredible entranced by Ché Gravy, to start. He's just like a giant teddy bear of a sauce maker. He loves uptown girls and downtown chicks equally. He's going to be a dad. He rapped with Roblé.

Of course I love Jasmine's spunky personality. I think she's going to give Mr. Ali a bit more guff than he bargained for. Same for Kiku, any chick that rocks a pink hoop and a different earring while baking is A-OK in my book. Then there's obviously Shawn, who is going to out out fierce everybody on the planet. I'd love it if there could be some scenario where he and Miss J have to have some of catwalk-off. I will admit that D'Andre's hatred of cheese made me a little confused (how can that even be possible?!?), but I'm sure he's great. And of course, sweet, sweet Adam. Why did he tell that girl it was better than kissing a fish head? Why are you kissing a fish heads? Is that how lonely you are? Because I know plenty of ladies who could remedy that problem for you (beardy nerds are so now).

But here's how Artie climbed to the top spot in my heart -- he's a mooch. Sure, he's good at his job, but he's also really, really good at eating well. I too would be in the kitchen trying to sneak eats. Did anyone else notice him eating cake by himself in the corner in the middle of the Roblé/Jasmine bust up. It's always best in the midst of a major argument to just hide and eat cake. Stay out of it. Keep calm and eat cake, Artie.

There's No Crying in Catering
Let’s talk about cake incident. You can't blame Jasmine for trying to pull together a cake together for the client. Girl was deluged with ridiculous requests for monkeys and whatnot and this seemed like an easy enough thing to whip together than having the Central Park Zoo delivered. Of course, it was a crazy last minute request, but that's kind of how the business is going to be. She probably should have consulted Roblé, because she probably should start thinking of him as her boss. But maybe Roblé could have been a little nicer, particularly when she came in to try to get the cake for the singing. . . yipes! Someone did need to take her outside and give her a hug, but that's the sort of statement that's best said in a whisper. He should have knocked the cake out of Artie's hand and had him handle it.

In the end Kerry just threw the cake everywhere so it was really all for naught. And the monkey did make it. (He looked just like Marcel from Friends. Cosmo, his name, might even be related to Marcel from Friends. I'm not sure how long monkeys live or how professional monkeys get discovered. Is it a family business?) But here's hoping  Roblé and Jas can let cooler heads prevail next time, or there are going to be a lot of tear-stained cakes in their future.

Next week's episode is super epic -- Kandi Burruss and Matisyahu. I know, how did we already get so lucky?

But what are your thoughts on the first episode? Leave your musings in the comments.

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Artie: "Roble is My Client, Not My Boss"

Artie Thompson reflects on his relationships with Roble and Jasmine. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend! What were you thinking when you heard they were the clients?
Artie Thompson: I am a big fan of John Legend. I have been following for years. Chrissy, not so much. Lovely girl! You seemed a bit checked out during the first meeting with Chrissy and John. What happened?
AT: I was still waiting to speak to Roble after he walked out on me from the last event, Deuces. I was trying to remain professional, yet concerned since we had not spoken. You and Roble had a talk where you realized you had to make the decision not to be the boss this time. What was that like for you?
AT: I had a Come to Jesus moment when I realized I do not have to fight this battle with Roble as I do have my own company, Artie's Events Inc., and I am the boss there. Ultimately, I am still running the show whether Roble agrees with me or not. I don't like it when Roble tries to rub it to my face that the company is called Roble & Co. I don't work for Roble -- I work with Roble. Roble is my client, not my boss. That's the difference! Things really came to a head when Roble told you how to arrange the tables in the room. Were you ready to give up at that point?
AT: Whether Roble wants the tables to the right or to the left, it does not make a difference. I am still pulling all the parties together. Bottom line: it is Roble & Co., not Artie's Events. At the end of the day, you try to tolerate your client as much as you can without jeopardizing the event. And truly, it did not matter to me how the tables were arranged. You really didn't seem to want Shawn dressed up as a crab. Did you have a different vision for the party?
AT: No -- I think that Shawn has been labeled the party favor a little too much, and he needs to find a different position in the company -- as a waiter, as a Captain, or whatever. I think it's time for Shawn to grow out of it and hold a more responsible role in the company. Jasmine seemed to be a peacekeeper this week, even though you two have had your problems this season. Was that helpful for you?
AT: Jasmine understood the communication problems I had with Roble as she has also gone through it. That was helpful to be able to get my frustrations out with her. I want everybody to know I have a very good relationship with Jasmine. We have difference of opinions, but I really do like her as a person. But, at the end of the day Jasmine is still Roble's sister, and she is going to side with him. You and Roble ultimately make up and you seem to decide to stay on. How did you make your ultimate decision?
AT: The decision really hasn't been made, but I do feel that I am part of the team at Roble & Co. Roble gives me my space to run the front of the house -- pull things together at events. Ultimately, I do want to see Roble & Co. grow as a major catering company in New York. There is a lot to do different and better as a young company with so much potential. And I am here to support. How do you think the party went?
AT: Overall, I thought it was a wonderful party. We had a little drama. The staff was attentive and Chrissy and John really enjoyed themselves. Anything you'd like to add about the whole season? 
AT: What do I say to that? Ah, where do I start? I am going to have to say that I am glad that our fans got to see the growing pains of the company, the interaction between front of the house and the back of the house. After being in the business for so many years, you think you have seen it all, but Chef Roble & Co. have left me speechless in many ways, in a good way... I think. Any updates you'd like to give post season-wrap?
AT: I am working a lot with Roble, locally in New York and out-of-state. I also manage to devote my time to A2 Collections, my new bow tie line and Artie's Events Inc. Things are going well! 

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