Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I had a great post all planned (in my head). It would have pictures galore and the writing would be dazzling. The main problem: my camera malfunctioned last night, and while all the pictures showed up in the camera, they wouldn't transfer to the computer. Today I went to a camera shop and asked their advice; they put the card in their machines and got the same answer - the file is damaged - so no pics, just what I can tell you, and I can't promise dazzling repartee since I am all bumfuzzled over the camera trouble. (The camera problem gets worse, but that's a whole 'nother post). Anyhow:

My boss invited me and two others of "his harem" (otherwise known as his designers) to attend the annual NACE (a catering executive's organization, NC Chapter) design competition event, called "Top of the Table", held last night in Raleigh. The creme de la creme of the florist, party, rental and catering industries were there with bells on (some figuratively and some The competition was broken down into five categories, each of which had at least three entries:
1. children's
2. contemporary
3. holiday
4. International
5. Wedding
I could try to paint a word picture of each table, but I couldn't do them justice. Each entry had many elements to the design and the overall look had to be seen to be appreciated. I am devastated not to have photos.

The three judges were well known in their respective fields:

1. Bill Hamilton, the National Sales Director for a table linen and chair cover company in Detroit. 2. Chantelle Stallings, South Florida, part owner and head designer of a business providing custom designed gourmet cakes and desserts. 3. Steve Kemble, whom some of you may know from "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?", the CBS Early Show and ABC's Extreme Makeover, Wedding Edition. Steve's reputation for flamboyance preceded him; we expected a wild personality and we were not disappointed. He arrived late (due to a flight cancellation); wearing a tan beaded jacket, a black lace top with huge ruffled cuffs peeking out of the jacket sleeves, brown silk brocade pegged pants and black leather, pointy toe cowboy boots. As a wedding designer and florist in Dallas, steve is well-known for distinctive work, but also for coordinating his clothing on the day of the wedding to the main colors for that wedding. I once saw him in the Style Network show in an electric blue brocade suit. He is best known for the phrase - uttered with suitable passion at every opportunity - FABULOUS, JUST FABULOUS!! You may be interested to know that he looked a lot thinner than he does on TV. I don't know if that is because he actually has lost weight since those shows were taped - or if TV really does add 10+ pounds to your frame.

This year's event was a stand-up buffet, whereas the last one was a seated meal. You may remember I wrote about it before, but I can't seem to find it in the archives.

There were stations all over the large room; Asian, with sashimi, rice, sauteed vegetables with teriyaki sauces, a Mexican station with shrimp and veggie quesadillas, and tortilla chips with a wonderful warm, cheesy drizzle over them, and hearts of palm, a station with gazpacho shots, penne pasta done Spanish style, and dessert crepes, as well as a chocolate station with items too numerous to mention and of which I wouldn't know the names anyway (but I ate one of each!). One of the best items was a green bean fritter, which was passed on trays by waitstaff. They also served champagne which was packaged in a small soda-type can with a pop-top and straw. I had never seen that before.

None of the design entries had anything indicating the name of the designer or group who presented it. The judges moved through the room, marking their likes and dislikes, and the winners were announced at the end of the evening.

My boss (sadly) didn't win for his entry in the "children's" category. It was a wonderful interpretation of "The Wizard of Oz", complete with a quaint, little green house and a tornado. The chairs were also decorated with various elements from the movie, such as the ruby slippers, lunch basket, Toto, witch's hat, magic wand, tin man's hat, etc. The table was covered in sparkly emerald green linen and the flowers were all green (not dyed ones (God forbid) - real green flowers).

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the evening. Pictures would have capped it off well - but it was not to be. I'll try to do better next time!


Ravvy said...

Wow!! I love designing and creating pretty much anything - so for me to picture an even like this is like telling a dolphin to go swim in the ocean - YES PLEASE! I just wish i got off my butt and made more of an effort to show my skills... the 'Meh' factor can get quite high sometimes...

Thanks for a fab interpretation of what you got to experience! It surely sounds like fun!! (your in a harem!!!*sniggers*!!)

PS - thanks for the most lovely words on my blog... you truely are sweet and I just adore visitin you and reading your blogs.

Take very good care of yourself over there in the big ol' United States!!

ET said...

Sometimes cameras malfunction but your beautiful flow or words keeps on coming. And that is a good thing.

Angie said...

Sorry about the camera. I hate when that happens. I was panicked not too long ago thinking I had lost photos of the baby.

Beverly said...

Ooh, that's too bad about your camera. I'm sure the pictures would have been great.

srp said...

The Wizard of Oz theme sounds really wonderful... there must have been some really amazing things there for him not to win! Did you have sensory input overload? Perhaps that's what happened to the camera... too many beautiful things to take in. Hope the camera works itself out.

Sue said...

The photos would have been nice and that's really too bad about your camera!
However, you described the event so beautifully I could totally visualize it! The food sounds over the top yummy...

Laura said...

Boy, that sounds like a fun evening. Even without the pictures, I felt as if I could see the whole thing!
Bummer about your camera too. :(

inanna said...

It sounds incredible, a sight worthy to behold. Sorry about your camera!

Sonia said...

I am sorry about your camera!

Congratulation for your participation on the annual NACE!
It looks really a great event!

Bernadette said...

You paint beautifully with words and flowers, Judy!

Sparkling Diamond said...

Sorry about your camera! You painted a beautiful picture with your words! I love seeing things like so inspires me! And the food...oh, I am hungry!

Raggedy said...

You captured it with your words.
I love your pictures but we can manage without them till you get your camera fixed...
I like the mail box pictures on the previous post..
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from da Cool Raggedy one

utenzi said...

Now that you have your camera and card working right, Judy, I look forward to seeing the pictures that go with this post. :-)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I did enjoy reeading about it Judy, and of course would have LOVED to see pictures, but your descriptioons of everytbing you did describe were wonderful. So sorry your boss didn't win! It sounds WONDERFUL!
And the chocolate....I don't think I would care what they were, either...just give me some, quick!(lol)