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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Che 'Gravy': Badderies Not Included

Roble's right-hand man explains the dynamic in the kitchen. How would you describe your role in Roble's kitchen?
CGG: Che 'Gravy' Gaines: I'm Bleezie's TCA. Trained Culinary Assasin. Are you concepting any dishes?
CGG: After Roblé meets with the client he comes directly to Bank$ and myself and we collectively conceptualize the dishes. This week we saw a bit of redemption with B. Scott. What was the pressure like on that event?
CGG: No pressure at all. The first event would have went off fine had they not had us jumping out the hotbox! What did you guys do differently this time?
CGG: Better venue without the electric boogie bootlegEmUps. ("EmUps is a suffix for "All the way turnt UP!") This episode was different in that the team had to create Deuces, Roble's pop-up restaurant. How did this change the team's process? How different was this then creating a catering experience?
CGG: Well, the catering business and the restaurant scene are two different worlds. With this pop-up restaurant, we were able to create and present dishes as courses and not these little cute bite sized morselEmUps. So the process was different in where we had to create a brigade and line up and bang the food out. Different from having food prepared and then passed in waves. Each course had to be timed and everybody had to get their food at the same time. I don't think Partie Artie understood that. We know restaurants; Partie knows Event Directing. There have been comments from other team members that Roble has been more strict this year — have you noticed a change?
CGG: Well, when running a company and branding a brand you have to be stern and diligent because you have to set a precedent. Your word is superior and everyone has to respect your authority when running a business. Everyone knows that. At the end of the day, Roblè loves his company, and he will do anything it takes to make it a success. It seems every episode someone is butting heads with Artie, and this week, you and him had some words over timing of the scallop dish. What's your take on that?
CGG: Everybody was happy and everyone was served, that's my take on that. Artie and Jasmine butted heads a bit on front-of-house stuff this season. Can you guys feel that tension at all in the kitchen?
CGG: To be honest with you, not at all. I didn't even know that stuff was going on until I watched the show. We just keep our nose down and do our thing in the kitchen; no time for the front of the house shenanigans. Could you feel the tension between Roble and Kiku this season? Roble and Dan?
CGG: Um yeah, Roblè and Kiku because I know that Roblè wants Kiku to be great. He could have gone the route of hiring badass pastry chef with tons of experience, but instead he went with his friend, who's very good at what she does but just not as experienced and molding her into becoming that badass pastry chef. With Roblé and Dan, who doesn't friggin want this guy? We were in Chicago one time, and I literally had to be his bodyguard in the club swerving through the crowd knocking off cruditè (Crudité: a plethora of Baddery Acid) (Baddery Acid: a hot female) like flies with a fly swatter! It was bananas in pajamas. You're quite vocal in the kitchen. How do you come up with those phrases?!
CGG: I think I was trapped in a warp machine as a kid and became very bored with the English language. People would always laugh at me when I say things but the next week in school, everyone's saying my words! LolEmUps. We see your adorable son this season on-air and in your Bank$ and Gravy webisode series — how often do you get to see him while you're helping Roble?
CGG: Well, not as much as i would like, but I think I'm gonna work on getting a nanny for Stinky Binky, so he can be around me more while I'm on set. He's getting older, now so he's gonna be wondering where's Daddy. Every off day while filming I was on a train to D.C. to spend time with my family. It's a hassle, but success takes We're loving Bank$ and Gravy! What is your relationship like with Adam? 
CGG: Me and Adam are like Shampoo and Conditioner. I mean, we're the modern-day Lethal Weapon. We're the extreme opposite, but we understand each other and we both have a history of culinary wave. I mean, just imagine graduating from The World Premier Culinary Institute of America and then go on to travel and work at some of the finest restaurants and establishments in the major cities and then come together to work for the same company with our comrade Chef Roblè. The amount of culinary knowledge and creative energy is abundant. Anything else you'd like to add?
CGG: Let the Crudy Juice drip and keep your BadderiesNotIncluded! 

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