Words can’t rightfully express how much joy it brings me to see this beautiful let them eat cake photo shoot in print. But let me try. I first came up with the idea for a photo essay on lavish cakes as I was a big fan of the blog Call Me Cupcake by Swedish baker Linda Lomelino. I’ve always found her photos entrancing and her way of telling stories with food aspirational. My original idea was just to photograph really beautiful cakes as well.
Once I pitched the idea to my editor over at Palm Beach Illustrated, the idea grew with envisioned sets. It soon became clear we were going to need a location that could handle our dreams. And that’s where the first hurdle came up.
I was stubbornly determined that it would be majestic, filled with old-fashioned touches. I wanted a beautiful, old mansion to shoot in.
But in Florida, we have beautiful young mansions. Not old ones. I looked at businesses and I looked from Jupiter down to Boca, entertaining everything. I was in despair because nothing matched my vision. Then my husband suggested a beautiful home that he knew of – Diane and Jim Kleiforth’s gorgeous historic house. The moment I stepped inside I knew that it was perfect. Forty-foot ceilings towered over the main room. Little nooks throughout the home invited pictures wherever I looked. It was everything I had hoped for.
I called my cake artists, I called my favorite florist, everything was set up.
And then a little storm called Irma headed our way. And it got bigger and bigger. I’m surprised I didn’t give myself a heart attack that week my blood pressure was so high. I made the decision to cancel the shoot, effectively meaning I would miss my first deadline for an assignment ever (SORRY PALM BEACH ILLUSTRATED!!)
We (along with one of the cake artists and the owners of the house) evacuated the day we would have had the shoot.
Our town was spared the worst of the storm. Everyone who evacuated spent the next four days running from town to town as Irma changed her mind time and again. We returned to West Palm Beach to a house without power for 8 days. Another of my cake artists lost every piece of inventory in her freezer they had. Even though we were spared – and grateful -- it was a bleak time.
And yet a few weeks later I asked if we could do the let them eat cake shoot. We had more challenges. The shutters were still on the house. One of the cake artists didn’t have a bakery to bake out of. It was hard – yo.
And yet out of all that, here’s what we did. This gorgeous spread was built from the ruins of the storm, a dream that I refused to give up.
This let them eat cake shoot was made possible because of every single cake artist: Janderyn Makris of Earth and Sugar, Nina Tomasik of Nina’s Fresh Bakery, Jenifer Reed of the Sugar Monkey, Sarah Sipe of the Regional and Elizabeth of Eau Resort and Spa. It happened because of Halle Frey of Flower and Fringe – who not only provided all of these gorgeous florals for the shoot but helped me to style them. For Janderyn – who put together this gorgeous centerpiece table, then stayed the day and hung out with Halle and I helping to style and make everything gorgeous as well. And to Diane and Jim Kleiforth for the gorgeous location. And to Olga Gustine and Daphne Nikolopoulos at Palm Beach Illustrated – who let me pursue my crazy ideas.