Aoc - I'm So Getting Flamed For This....

Decorating By CakeMakar Updated 10 Oct 2008 , 2:24pm by FromScratch

CakeMakar Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:08pm
post #1 of 43

Ok, first off let me say- I love Ace of Cakes. I DVR all their episodes, and have the first season on DVD.

But has anyone else noticed they're getting sloppier? Maybe they're just showing more of the undone cakes? The sides of the 76 little cakes, the sides of the Get Smart cake, the tallest building even before it needed repair? They're all bumpy and you can see the layers under the fondant?

On another note, I just got shown Christopher Garren's Let Them Eat Cake bakery. . . WOW. Truly made me say "That's CAKE?!" Now I know why that lady was being such a b&$%! on the Food Network Challenge. (Marjorie Chua) She works for him!

42 replies
PinkZiab Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:20pm
post #2 of 43

No flames here... I love the show too, but I get what you're saying. Not that I am some cake master or anything, but I watch and sometimes I think "Why the hell are doing it THAT way?"

levinea Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:21pm
post #3 of 43

I've noticed this too, though I attributed it to getting an HDTV and finally getting Food Network as a High Def channel. I just figured that I was able to see more flaws on a 52" LCD screen than on a 32" tube television. Even DH, who only watches in passing, mentioned how the little cakes for that anniversary party looked sloppy.

Maybe it's a clearer picture that shows more flaws, but maybe it's just their work.

CakeMakar Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:34pm
post #4 of 43

You know, we just got HiDef, too. Though I thought AOC wasn't in HD. (Only some of the shows on the HD Food Network channel are.)

tiersfromheaven Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 7:51pm
post #5 of 43

I don't really see them as getting sloppy. I've always noticed because I am very critical of my own work. So when I saw their flaws I felt so relieved! If the "experts" make cakes that are not perfection then I can ease up on myself.

I also noticed that they really don't seem to be to worried about hygiene. No gloves, hair nets, the tool and workshop area are in very close proximity to the deco area. I have a thing about cross contamination of any kind . . . imagine the sawdust that goes flying and where it could land. icon_surprised.gif

sweettoothmom Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 9:09pm
post #6 of 43

I think you are right. I have noticed things have changed quite a bit.

My husband comments frequently about the fact that they have had dogs in the bakery and no hair nets and wiping icing on each other and then sticking the spatula back in the ising bowl to finsh the cake. YUCK!

I had attributed the work to the fact that none of them other than Duff are actually trained to do any of this. Most of them are artists. And there is such a thing as artistic license. Just try and tell picasso his lady looks a like skewed. YIKES!!!!

It is cake and all the parts and details are basically just sugar, so keeping that in mind it is still an amazing work of art.

I am still shocked to see his website and see that they charge so dang much though. $500 for a cake for an 8 year olds birthday party? What the heck do these people do for a living that they can afford cakes that cost this much? Then I think if I am paying $500 for a cake it best not have any wrinkles, or look slopped together artist or not. thumbsdown.gif My mother taught me $500 is a lot of money.

Deb_ Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 9:41pm
post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by levinea

I've noticed this too, though I attributed it to getting an HDTV and finally getting Food Network as a High Def channel. I just figured that I was able to see more flaws on a 52" LCD screen than on a 32" tube television. Even DH, who only watches in passing, mentioned how the little cakes for that anniversary party looked sloppy.

Maybe it's a clearer picture that shows more flaws, but maybe it's just their work.




This is exactly what I was thinking.......I keep blaming it on the HDTV. Even some actors and actresses in movies don't look as good as they used to. I can see every little wrinkle icon_lol.gif (actually makes me feel good icon_wink.gif ).

cakemaker don't worry about getting flamed for this post......if you do we'll all be "flamed" together icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

terrig007 Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 9:58pm
post #8 of 43

Well, when I watch in the tv in the bedroom everything looks fine but on the 42 inch, with the hi-def things look bad. I think it's the hi-def.

CakeMakar Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 9:59pm
post #9 of 43

I have to agree with the unsanitaryness of the place. I used to think "they just don't show the handwashing." But the smearing icing on each other and then sticking it right back in the bowl and back on the cake was one of the most appalling to me. Up until that point, I could deal with the hair moving and touching other things.

When I get down on myself for how a cake is coming out, DH always reminds me Duff's cakes aren't perfect.

Sweettoothmom, Duff's cake's are now $1000 minimum, not $500. I didn't believe it either, but check out the site.

It's definitely their personalities that sell the show. I still love it, and some of the cakes are truly amazing. I'd still love to meet them all and would love if DH got me a CCC hoodie. I have a framed poster (the bake cake fists) on the wall in the kitchen. I'm just not as star-struck as I used to be. icon_biggrin.gif

Rocketgirl899 Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 10:03pm
post #10 of 43

I love AOC. But Duff has said if you want a "perfect" cake don't come to him.

What makes AOC so fantastic is the creativity. And his personality.
He is a celebrity, and people will pay for celebrity.
I wish they would put the actual cost of the cake on the show.. you know show people how much cakes actually cost, then when I say 200 their jaw won't hit the floor... icon_smile.gif


There are some amazing decorators, but as the quantity has gone up..I think the quality has gone down. I would not wanna pay a minimum of 500 for a cake the intern makes! I know people have to start somewhere (which is where I am) but if I pay for the celebrity of Duff.. I want him to make my cake! Or Geoff... lol.

Some cakes that leave their are awesome, while others fall short of what I think they are capable of. But I saw this in the shop I worked at all the time.

To many people in the kitchen if you ask me...

I always thought gloves were this awesome thing. You know keep your hands out of the food.. but in the end, I think people are more likely to wash their hands if they get sticky/dirty, than if you wear gloves. I had a pastry chef tell me that gloves are not the answer, if you touch your face with gloves, or money.... the dirt gets on the gloves, so while they protect your hands, they don't really do anything for hygiene! He said nothing beats hot water and soap. So that is what I do.

onegr8girl Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 10:05pm
post #11 of 43

I was thinking the same thing. I just watched the Get Smart episode and when they showed the finished dynomometer I was blown away by all the wrinkles in the fondant. My TV is 60" and I've had it for two years, so I just think they're not as worried about showing us the "good sides" anymore. Definitely made me feel better about myself.

CakeMakar Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 10:22pm
post #12 of 43

Yes, the dynamometer was a wrinkly elephant mess!
$1000 for a cake - it better be an out of body experience. Duff better at least touch it.

I didn't think the Greek delivery boy was all that good looking. icon_razz.gif

sweettoothmom Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 10:30pm
post #13 of 43

Taken straight from Duff's website and I quote 'How much are your cakes?
Because all of our cakes are priced individually by the complexity of their design, we do not have a standard price list.

Due to the care we give to each cake and the one-of-a-kind nature of each order, we require a minimum of $1000 on all of our cakes. "


What in the name of all things sweet and holy are these people thinking. icon_eek.gif I would not have paid $500 for the wrinkley mess they made the other night not to mention the $1000 minimum they now have!!!!

SHAME DUFFER! SHAME!

I have got to agree Geoff rocks and without him and one of the mary's (mary pat or beth or alice or whatever her name is) Duff would still be in a basement for sure.

BlakesCakes Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 10:35pm
post #14 of 43

Flame Away!!!!!!!!!

I watch the show and yell at the TV! My DH thinks it's a riot because all I do is point out the problems. When I see some of those cakes, realizing that their minimum is $1000, I get SICK! I feel that all people can say is, "Oh, yeah, IT'S FROM DUFF, THE ACE OF CAKES!", to validate the big bucks they spent on it!

I'm apalled by the extreme use of styrofoam, when cake would work fine. For example, the spaghetti bowl--it was 2/3rds of a styro ball and just 2 (thin) layers of chocolate cake. It could have been done with 4 layers of cake and less styro! And then, they cover it "the hard way", rather than turning it upside down (no wrinkles that way!)---sheesh!

I don't know, I understand why the show exists and why people watch it, but I do see lots of shortcuts--their "trees" are crappy and most of the people they model are poorly done & pretty generic (especially for the $$$$).

I hate to talk to newbies who think that AOC is what they should aspire to--so I send them to the galleries here at CC to see what GREAT CAKE DECORATING LOOKS LIKE!!!!

Rae

Rocketgirl899 Posted 6 Oct 2008 , 10:54pm
post #15 of 43

It's funny, I love how the public says oh AOC is amazing.. yes.. at sometimes, im not here to bash--my cakes are no where near the standard of AOC but I want to be better... I mean I want to be like Edna, Browen... Sylvia... but have the household name of Duff...

I am a lonnnng ways away. lol.

Perhaps sometimes the reason they use so much styrofoam is because of the number of servings a cake needs. I mean why make a cake serve 100 when it only needs to serve 50..... but I guess for $1000... it needs to be a decent size cake...

Plus from the show they are getting more popular and they can't handle the amount of orders (OMG 17 cakes and 21 "decorators" whatever will we do.. I use to work at a place that had 3 decorators and turned out 60 cakes a weekend), therefore they make the cost higher.. simply supply and demand. Until their orders DROP or level out prices will continue to rise.

Duff has taught me so manything, but nothing to CC group!!! Thank youicon_smile.gif

BLAKES!!! I LOVE THIS!! "I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!"

Mike1394 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 12:15am
post #16 of 43

I always thought they were sloppy.

Mike

indydebi Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 12:26am
post #17 of 43

Think what you want, gang. Duff commands a great price for his cakes and if you check his website, he's booked solid on dates thru 2010. He's laughing all the way to the bank, paving the way for the rest of us to follow, if we choose to take that path. thumbs_up.gif

Sweettooth1120 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 2:26am
post #18 of 43

I will be the first to admit that I love AOC and Duff. I met him and he is just awesome in person. I am no cake artist and I still find myself saying how I might have done something differently than they did but more then not I am amazed at some of the cake and piping work they do, like the roulette wheel. My only peeve with them is this..... I hate when they have a big project and cover wood or styrofoam with fondant and call it a cake. If I cant stick a fork in it and eat it, it aint cake. So when they refer to this cake or that cake that were not actually cake, I do get a little annoyed. But other than that, I love the show,I love the gang, and I always get inspired by something that they do.

CakeMakar Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 3:09am
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Think what you want, gang. Duff commands a great price for his cakes and if you check his website, he's booked solid on dates thru 2010. He's laughing all the way to the bank, paving the way for the rest of us to follow, if we choose to take that path. thumbs_up.gif




He has the fame to take him there, granted. It's amazing what some TV time will do for you. Most businesses boom when they're featured on TV. He has done right by his business & his pocketbook.

One day I hope to command 1K per cake, but I hope my work is cleaner.

littlecake Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 4:21am
post #20 of 43

i'm curious. a little off topic, but i fell asleep during last weeks show, did they bake all those little cakes, or did they cut them out of sheet cakes like biscuits?

there was a decorator on here awhile back that said it was easier to cut those lil cakes out with...was it pvc pipes?

chefjulie Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 4:48am
post #21 of 43

They cut them out like biscuits thumbs_up.gif Last week was the first week I actually really noticed that they were sloppy (not counting the poor hygiene- are they not worried out the Baltimore Health Department?). Early in the show, they did a close up on the little cakes and i thought, man I'd be PISSED if that were my order because it was WAY sloppy. However, when they showed them all later, they looked great to me.

paddlegirl14 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 5:17am
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweettoothmom

I think you are right. I have noticed things have changed quite a bit.

My husband comments frequently about the fact that they have had dogs in the bakery and no hair nets and wiping icing on each other and then sticking the spatula back in the ising bowl to finsh the cake. YUCK!

I had attributed the work to the fact that none of them other than Duff are actually trained to do any of this. Most of them are artists. And there is such a thing as artistic license. Just try and tell picasso his lady looks a like skewed. YIKES!!!!

It is cake and all the parts and details are basically just sugar, so keeping that in mind it is still an amazing work of art.

I am still shocked to see his website and see that they charge so dang much though. $500 for a cake for an 8 year olds birthday party? What the heck do these people do for a living that they can afford cakes that cost this much? Then I think if I am paying $500 for a cake it best not have any wrinkles, or look slopped together artist or not. thumbsdown.gif My mother taught me $500 is a lot of money.




I agree with everything you said. I have a Hospitlity dregree and cringe everytime I watch it, for the sanitary issues. I know they are all having fun, but it is still food, there are rules.

They do amazing wrk, but if I am paying that much, I want cake. So much of some of their cakes are not cake. I didn't even pay $500 for my wedding cake, and it was wonderful!!

shantel575 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 5:42am
post #23 of 43

i love the show too but I about fell over when they were wiping icing on each other with spatulas and putting them right back in the bowls and on the cakes. icon_surprised.gif ICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the pets in the bakery totally creep me out. I'd never buy a food item from someone who had pets in their kitchen where the food is prepared. BLECH. They've had a dog and a bird in there that I can think of right now... there were probably others also!

peg818 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 11:40am
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by shantel575

i love the show too but I about fell over when they were wiping icing on each other with spatulas and putting them right back in the bowls and on the cakes. icon_surprised.gif ICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the pets in the bakery totally creep me out. I'd never buy a food item from someone who had pets in their kitchen where the food is prepared. BLECH. They've had a dog and a bird in there that I can think of right now... there were probably others also!




GQ public doesn't see these things. And all in all that bakery looks pretty clean to me. I wonder how many of you have ever been in the kitchens of some of the restaurants you eat in. It would be enough to make you run home and never come back.

I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to Duff and his crew, they are opening the creative doors for many to step through if we only choose to. I personally am envious of the prices he commands, and wish my customers were willing to pay even half of that.

GO DUFF GO!!!!

FromScratch Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 12:12pm
post #25 of 43

I am convinced that most of what we see is staged stuff for TV only. You have to think that they follow more strict guidelines when they are making cakes for public consumption. I mean.. how boring would it be to just watch people crumb coat cakes? Not as much fun as it is to watch them have a food fight while they do it.

I'm happy for Duff and crew for being able to command such prices for their cakes. Do I think they are perfect? Hell no.. but neither do they. Yes peopl think it's cool to say "this cake came from Ace of Cakes" and will pay big bucks for that bragging right. And I think that is great. I hope to one day be able to command 1/2 of that.. right now my min is $100.. piddly in comparison.

I am happy for them for being in the place they are in.. it makes our jobs seem glamorous (ha!!!) and makes people want to try out something new. I do wish they'd give a price range when they showed the finished cakes though. Make my prices seem like a steal.. and I am on the pricer end of the spectrum. icon_wink.gif

CakeMakar Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 2:14pm
post #26 of 43

peg818, I've been in plenty of the restaurants we eat in. icon_biggrin.gif I've worked in food service since I was 17. Granted it can be a turn-off, and you learn what types of food are "safer" than others to eat.

The sanitary thing doesn't bother me too much. I have a rock iron tummy & very low on the squeamish factor.

My big thing was just the smoothness of the cake. I'd never noticed it, but as others have pointed out it may be the HD & the larger TV. That would be hilarious if it was the case. DH is very entertained by the notion.

Chef Julie - you are right. When the little cakes were decorated and boxed up, they looked fine. They must do magic with those fondant smoothers!

FromScratch Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 3:14pm
post #27 of 43

I was thinking, and they are showing the entire process from start to finish of putting a cake together. I don't know about you, but my cakes don't look absolutely perfect every step of the way. I think part of it is just that.. things look rough along the way. I agree though that some of their end results are rougher looking that I would be okay with.. but I also don't do 25+ cakes per week.

CakeMakar Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 3:43pm
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

I agree though that some of their end results are rougher looking that I would be okay with.. but I also don't do 25+ cakes per week.





Definitely not! Your work is beautiful! Several of your pics are in my favs!

sweettoothmom Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 5:04pm
post #29 of 43

I had a relative that mafe deliveries to food establishments and he would tell us which resteraunts were cleana nd which were not.

Have you ever been to an Italian rest. called Boca Di Beppo? I know I probably misspelled that but they take you walking right through the kitchen to seat you. I thought oh well nice staging. The area they take you through is a booth and a small kitchen area with a wall and behingd that wall is the actual kitchen. I always walk right around that wall into the real kitchen. What can they say they invitied me into the kitchen didnt they??? But I have never been in a real food establishment kitchen that is 100% all the time. Close and I mena darn close to perfect but not all of them all the time. Cooking is a messy business. Sanitation though is a necessity. And I dont care if it was staged or not that is gross..... icon_eek.gif

I honestly do not think anyone in that shop has an ounce of boring in them. They would find something to be silly about in an empty paperbag. That is what makes AOC. The groups humor and ability to face the trials of that demon sugar without going postal of spending every last minute at the bar across the street. icon_razz.gif


I also agree is I cant eat it I wouldnt call it cake. The huge milkbone dog treat box??? That was just retarded. It wasnt cake it was art. Talented well designed and executed art but not cake.

FLAME ON!!!

CakeMakar Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 8:26pm
post #30 of 43

I love Buca di Beppo. We have two here. Their green beans are yummy!

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