You taste your ingredients while you are cooking and you look at your elements as you are designing!
Something Rocco always says to the competing chefs is that it’s essential to constantly taste their food before, during, and after cooking their meals.
It’s the same thing with design. Sadly the chefs on the show do not have the luxury of really being involved in the process of physically designing the rooms, but if you all could see how the rooms transform, you would be blown away by how many perspectives we need to get of the room before completing the environment.
I often find myself walking on top of tables, hanging from ceilings and scaling walls in order to really see how my rooms translate from every angle.
In this challenge, The Perfect Summer Party, the chefs needed to keep their meals light, so I wanted to be sure that the décor had plenty of carbs!
I met with Ryan Poli first, the super-chill dude from Chicago with the amazing hairline! I like the direction Ryan wanted to take because it was organic and masculine, much like his cooking style. For me, summer is all about freedom and celebration, and I loved that Ryan wanted to bring the beach to the table and the table to the beach.
My favorite design element that Ryan came up with completely on his own was the “Message in a Bottle” idea. That was really unexpected coming from him after hearing his other requested elements such as; driftwood, sand, shells, flowers, candles etc. Ryan did have a lot of elements in his design, but the “Message in a Bottle” was a wonderful focal point in the room. I found antique mini bottles and had his menu printed out on a rolled up little note that the guests had to retrieve from the bottle. This was a nice interactive element and in “real life,” I would have the wait staff remove the items so they are not in the way of the actual dinner.
Jung Lee felt that there were too many elements on the table so an easy resolution to that is to let the guests discover the fun novelty item and then have it taken away or stored, so the guests can take it home with them or you can keep it for your next dinner party! Or… you can invite Jeff Ross over to eat it for you!