First Imma show you the pretty things, then I’m gonna show you the other side of the situation.
It occurred to me that I never showed y’all the pictures from, or talked about, our wonderful opening party we had two weeks ago.
Our good friends from Truffleberry Market came in from Chicago to cater it, and I am so glad that they did and were up for the challenge of catering their first out of town event because 1. I trust them completely, even in my insane controlfreakness I know there is no way I could ever come up with better ideas, create better concepts, or execute anything near as perfect as what they do, so when they are there it is completely stress free. I don’t even feel like I have to check in with them, they got it. Which is such a gift. And 2. because as I have mentioned before, I hired them for a party early in their catering careers, and then they in turn gave me my start decorating when they hired me to do their office and tasting room. So it felt very full circle having them do the event.
Here is what chef and owner of Truffleberry Brittany Ferrin had to say about it:
BISCUIT! A word that now has an inappropriately special connotation for me. When Bailey threw out the idea of Truffleberry being a part of Biscuit’s Opening event in Houston, my instant reaction was “YES!” Had I taken a minute to think about it, I might have scared myself away. But, we generally like to say yes to any challenge and then throw ourselves right into figuring out how to make it perfect. It’s like constant career adrenaline. We are total junkies.Me and GrayBaby at da pawty.
We have been in business for almost five years now and have created about 2,000 events. This one was by far my absolute favorite. From the initial idea, to the concepting, to the planning, to the (out of state!) preparation, and finally the execution- I am in love with every part of this event.
My team was so excited for the honor of creating Biscuit’s debut as well as the opportunity to create new menu + presentation ideas that correspond with the brand. Okay…I was also personally excited to be able to replace “you guys” with “y’all” for a few days. We love incorporating a brand’s identity into a menu. We did a lot of research on Biscuit’s brand identity to make sure we were incorporating key words or concepts into the menu item or name. This is what I wrote on my sticky note: “affordable but luxurious design-forward bedding. Your bed is a delicious biscuit. If you need to fluff up your biscuit — get a better sheet situation — you need to ‘Butter Your Biscuit.’ And while a biscuit should always be fluffy, it should be crisp as well.”
Truffleberry chef and co-owner Vaido.
Concepting Biscuit’s opening was so fun. I knew Bailey wanted to incorporate a slight Biscuit theme- what she referred to as “winks” of biscuits, which I think is so well said. It actually proved to be an incredibly helpful reference when creating menu items. I would ask myself…”Is this a wink? or is this a full on Paula Dean situation?”. We wanted everything to be original, delicious, striking, have some Southern Charm, be seasonal, and stay totally approachable to eat whilst wearing a cocktail dress. We toyed with menu items like: “The Son of a Biscuit” “The Bliss-cuit” inspired by PB and even “Biscuits and Wavy” with Lobster instead of Sausage Gravy. Bailey selected some beautiful menu items and it came together so well!
“Spoon-Fed Biscuit” Country Pear, Imported Gorgonzola, Black Pepper Biscuit Spoon
The planning and organizational aspect of this event was massive and more complex than anything I have ever imagined. In our own zip code, we know exactly where our vendors are and exactly what products we can get from them. We have a team, a walk in refrigerator, trucks and equipment everywhere. This time, if we needed something as simple as a measuring cup, we had to prepare for it ahead of time. We analyzed every single detail of the selected menu and event and ran through it minute by minute to make sure we had everything accounted for in order to prep, store, transport, execute and present. We made constantly evolving lists of “Things to pack” “Things to ship” and “Things to purchase” on a document titled “Organization For Biscuit Sanity”. Sometimes we would even wake up in the middle of the night to write something like “glue gun” on the packing list or Vaido would realize we had to move “Co2 cartridges” from Things To Pack to Things to Purchase because of the airline’s restrictions so we could make our gorgonzola foam! From our knives, to mini biscuit cutters, to plastic wrap, to pastry brushes, our chef coats and even a small fryer (seriously!)- if we needed it and couldn’t rent it in Houston, we had to pack it in our bags! Rolling through the airport with our bags full o’ kitchen, the Truffleberry team kind of looked like a bunch of crazies. A fryer!
“Green Eggs & Ham” Quail Egg, Imported Proscuitto, Aged Cheddar & Chive Biscuit
My business partner (and hubby) Vaido, is our director of Events. Loren and I all split up and started crossing off the items of many to do lists. Since time was limited, we had every item at every store in list form with addresses already plugged into GPS. We pretty much had one day to gather and organize everything we needed. Friday was all prep and then somehow with all they had going on, Bailey and Pete took us out to a very delicious dinner. Then, back to work until the morning hours. A little sleep later and it was Biscuit time!
“Fried Brie & Fixin’s” Fig Jam for dipping, warm buttery brie, crispy biscuit breadcrumbs
The morning started with some large coffees, an extra trip for new quail eggs due to a refrigerator temperature mishap, and coordinating all the details that would come together in just a few hours. We also had several deliveries to receive (ovens, glassware, beverages, ice, custom logo napkins) and Loren trained the new staff members in about 15 minutes to represent the Truffleberry brand.
“Ginger Biscuit Pumpkin Cheesecake” Dense rich pumpkin cheesecake with brown spiced ginger biscuit crust
We built our on-site kitchen, had a staff meeting, took a few deep breaths and before we knew it, food was making it’s way through the Biscuit doors. The night was beautiful, Bailey was radiant and Biscuit was glowing. On top of everything, I am so proud of Bailey, in awe of her ambition, humbled by her belief in Truffleberry and constantly amazed by her talents. I feel so lucky not only to have the opportunity to do what I am passionate about, but I feel blessed to have had this wonderful challenge. I am endlessly thankful for the team that was there with me whom I trust more than anything, our team that supported us from Truffleberry Chicago while doing their own events, and of course incredible clients like Bailey who give us the honor of being a part of their special celebrations. We came away with a lot of new experiences and a love for Houston. Although I would not go so far as to say there were no bumps along the way in pulling it all together, I will certainly say this and encourage anyone stepping outside of their comfort zone to repeat often- “A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.”
“Sweetie Pie Pops” Handmade buttery flakey crust, plumb sweet red cherry pie
It really was a perfect event, just the celebration we needed after working so hard for so long. And then…it was back to reality. Opening the store has been awesome, but it also has been an incredibly stressful two weeks filled with technology mishaps, delays in production, 4 am wake up calls to clean up dog mess until dawn…And then last Saturday Grace stopped wanting to walk or put weight on her left foot. She was in good spirits, and would let you touch/rub/move her whole foot/leg around without complaint, and we were perplexed. When on Sunday she still wouldn’t bare weight on her foot I googled…huge mistake. Scariness like septic joint infections and leukemia came up. Google is no ones friend, least of all a worried mom. So I called her pediatrician who told me to get the ER immediately, which did not help. Four hours later at the ER on Sunday they told me it definitely wasn’t a break or an infection because she would let you examine her and touch it etc. They didn’t think there was any point in an X-ray, and the next step would be an MRI which they have to sedate for, and that we should watch her for a few days before that was necessary.
Monday Pete brought her to the pediatrician who thought it might just be a swollen joint. They echoed the next MRI steps and said to give her ibuprofen for a few days to see if that helped with the swelling and fixed the problem. Then yesterday she still hadn’t improved so I brought her back and asked them to please do an X-ray. They also did some blood tests. And there was a small, what they call “toddler fracture” in her left leg. They said most of the time when they happen there is no “incident” of a fall or anything where the baby appears to be injured, they can just twist their leg wrong taking a step and that it doesn’t hurt at the time, but then the injury sets in. They did say it was unusual that she didn’t exhibit any discomfort beyond refusal to bare weight…
And now she has this big ol’ cast! And it is so sweet and sad. She seems completely oblivious and unaffected by it, and it is only two weeks, but it just hurts my heart! And I know no matter the partnership you have, or work environment you are in, junk is just hard when your baby is sick. I was able to take her to the pediatrician in the morning while Jordan opened the store, and then to the ortho for her cast in the afternoon while Maddie closed, and I know not everyone is so lucky. So power to you, ladies.
And thank goodness for the Freakin Weekend.