(Richard and Araceli are at the Cattleman, to discuss catering a sumptuous wedding supper for serial monogamist Collin Wyler and his most recent bride. Handling the matter on behalf of Mr. Wyler is his trusted personal assistant, David Chung MacNamera. The meeting is going splendidly, topped off by a conference call with Mr. Wyler … until Richard finds out the name of the soon-to-be Mrs. Wyler ….)

“And as for the wedding cake itself,” Richard wound up the last ends of the discussion and opened his notebook of sketches. “I have a couple of proposed designs … there’s the classical four-tier round cake, with smooth rolled fondant and small nosegays of sugar roses and tulips tied with ribbon, topped by a pair of white sugar swans. We can do this in white, or with flowers tinted to any color scheme, from pure white, through pastel to vivid, and in a quantity sufficient to serve 300 hundred guests – if not in the main display cake, then in additional cakes already cut and plated in the kitchen. And we can make the basic cake in whatever flavor is preferred, although my inclination – since I know that the bride is English as I am, is for the traditional fruitcake. It really depends on what the guests will expect, of course. I am not adverse to making the smallest layer in fruitcake and the rest in something which the guests may savor. Has the … umm, happy couple settled on a general color scheme?”

“Black, gold and white has been suggested,” Anne Dubois interjected, and Chung nodded. “With a vivid accent color … perhaps deep rose or dark red. London to a brick on it, Dub – that would be ace! The décor of the ballroom itself would readily lend itself to that.”

“Now this design – elegant and slightly futuristic,” Richard turned the page of his sketchbook. “This one; the lowest layer in black fondant, with geometric shapes in gold foil, the next layer in dark gray with a monochrome photo effect, the third layer in white with a gold stipple effect, and the top layer pure white fondant with a garland of contrasting roses twining from top to bottom.”

Chung nodded, and brought out his iPhone. “Let me take a quick snap of that one, and the first. What next?”

Richard turned over another page. “Now this one – also four layers; not round, but square and elevated on classical pillars at the corners. Each side of every layer is adorned with oval or square plaques in Wedgewood style; the colors of the plaques depends on the predominant color chosen by the happy couple, and depict significant armorial bearings, initials, or classical motifs.”

“Very plain, I think,” Anne Dubois said, and Conchita nodded.

“Look nice with the Wyler brand on them, though. Silhouette of the HQ house, and a coupla longhorns – pretty fine. The personal touch.”

“On to the next one,” Richard turned the page again. “Six layers of cake in graduated pairs, each pair separated by pillars and a wealth of flowers filling the space. The topmost level is also crowned with a bouquet of sugar-paste flowers. This one I visualize in pale cream-color frosting, with the edge of each layer trimmed in an edging of fondant lace and the flowers in various pale tints to coordinate with the décor.”

Chung snapped another quick picture with his iPhone and waited courteously for Richard to turn another page.

“That all ya got?” he asked when no more designs were forthcoming, and Richard sighed. “All that I have at this time, Mr. MacNamara. I am supremely confidant of my talent and my staff’s abilities to deliver any one of these to the event – and I am perfectly open to considering any other designs which the happy couple would like me to duplicate. But I have always advised clients – that they are paying me to exercise my considerable expertise and professional judgement in such matters as this, and it is most unwise to disregard it in favor of their own half-baked notion.”

“Understood, mate,” Chung flashed a wry smile, as he was thumbing through his contacts list and selecting a number from it. “OK, I’m calling Mr. Wyler. I’ve already sent him the snaps … it’s mid-evening in London … G’day, Mr. Wyler! Chung here, and Connie with Anne at the Cattleman, and Richard and Araceli from the Café… Going to put my phone on the speaker mode so that we can all have a good chin-wag.” Chung nodded, and set his iPhone in the center of the table. “He can year ya fine, just be sure and speak up.”  Chung nodded to the others at the table and continued in a voice slightly louder than before. “Yes, we’ve been going over Richard’s proposed menu. You got my text messages – then whattya reckon? Yes … yes …  Big bikkies, but yeah, thought you’d be stoked. What about the cake, then – has Miss Cole had a dekko? That six-tier job is a real corker, that is.” More »