Bravotv.com: After your discussion with Jasmine and Roble after the last party, did you feel like things were resolved?
Artie Thompson: I felt that things were resolved as much as they could be until the next time.
Bravotv.com: Did it feel like a clean slate?
AT: No, the slate is never clean because the memory is still there.
Bravotv.com: What would you say your responsibilities are?
AT: For Roble & Co. I am the Event Director. An event to me is like a stage and we are players. My job is to make sure that every part is played to perfection-from the back of the house to the front of the house. I meet up with the client, go over the details of the event, determine a budget, and upon approval, I start working on the layout for the front-of-the-house -- tables, chairs, glassware, all the equipment that would be needed to make the party function. Wait! It does not end there. Then, I go over the menu with Roble and his team to go over equipment needed for the kitchen. I schedule all deliveries to the party location including staff call times. The day of event, I am also the timekeeper (not the yeller as Jasmine commented). I oversee the whole event to make sure that all the components come together in the timeframe which we have proposed to the client. The devil is in the details.
Bravotv.com: What do you think Jasmine's are?
AT: Costumes, flowers, and a little fluff.
Bravotv.com: What would you like to see her doing that you don't think she is?
AT: I'd like to see Jasmine a little more organized when it comes to the setup of events, understand that less is more, and that time is everything… Oh yes! Budget, budget, budget! We have been given a budget for a reason, and we have to stay within that budget.
Bravotv.com: You mention that Jasmine's design concept is a little amateur — what would you have done differently?AT: Let's start with the tree. The taping of Christmas lights on a tree is about as old school as you get last century. I would have used real chandeliers. I totally didn't like the napkin and the tree-bark idea, but that polo mallet was a hit. A home run. Great idea! And I know Jasmine fought really hard to get them to the event.Bravotv.com: You lose your cool a bit in front of the client, which we've never seen you do before — what happened?
AT: I'm human just like everybody else, and I sometimes get frustrated too.
Bravotv.com: That "moon" seemed to be a huge issue. Can you elaborate on what happened/how it was fixed?
AT: Well, our designer, Ms. Jasmine, was M.I.A. The moon concept was a good idea, but the execution wasn't complete. Coming from the event planning background I do, it was quite easy for me to step into the design mode. The problem was visual. There's nothing you can really do about bugs and light. It's a natural attraction between bugs and light. And at that time, the only way to fix the visual problem was by not making it visible, and that is what I did by pulling the moon farther back.
Bravotv.com: Last week, Jasmine questioned whether you truly have Roble and her best interest at heart — what's your response?
Yes, I believe I do. Do I have Jasmine's best interest at heart? Maybe not. I worked with Roble about seven years ago, and Roble was a culinary assistant for a company that I worked for as an Events Director. I had spotted Roble out in a crowd of about three to four other culinary assistants. I went straight into our office the next day and made a request to our booking department that I wanted Roble on every event that I booked. I liked the fact that Roble was a team player despite the difficulties that were set before him, and he always wanted to do whatever it took to get the job done. At the end of the day, if Roble succeeds, I succeed. If Roble & Co. makes it as a major catering company, I will have helped and left a mark. I have nothing I am trying to prove. I know who I am within the world of events and production. Jasmine, on the other hand, is trying to prove something. I think Jasmine is a wonderful, intelligent lady. However, she is young, and the young sometimes need to stop and pull back their opinions — listen and learn. But at the end of the day, I'm really trying to understand if this is a family-run business because if it is, I will not as a professional step in the middle of family.
Bravotv.com: During the episode, Jasmine questions your style and how it doesn't jive with Roble and Co. What do you think of that?
AT: Jasmine is entitled to her opinion. She is an amateur. I'm not sure what she means regarding style. Sometimes I might be a little proper. In the catering industry it is very important that staff — especially our wait staff because Roble & Co. is a very young African American company -- look perfect, uniformed, and polished. I started out in the industry as a waiter. I am very comfortable with who I am. Therefore, I am very comfortable with asking waiters to rise above their personal styles to become uniformed so that everyone looks together; everyone looks as if they are working for one company…Bravotv.com: Overall, how did the party go?
AT: It was a beautiful event of creative food and excellent service. An ultimate Hampton experience!
Bravotv.com: Anything else you'd like to add?
AT: Yes, I have something: The B. Scott Event was a hot mess! What we did was service all guests, and I must give a shout out to Shawn. He really worked hard. We provided them (the guests) with wonderful food and cocktails. It was the only thing we could do. We could not acknowledge to the guests or ourselves that it was too hot to perform our duties. At a time like that, you can't fall down and surrender like some people did. You have to rise above your elements and perform to the best of your abilities.
And also, I came from a company that is the largest privately-owned catering company in New York, and they are very successful at what they do. I helped them grow for 18 years. There is no school that will teach you what I have learned, and this is what I would like to impart on Roble & Co.. Roble and I don't agree on everything, but bottom-line, it's my job to make sure that everything goes right, and that the events are executed to perfection. I'm not here to feed into anybody's ego, or to make someone feel better about something they really don't want to do or know how to.