Designer cake anyone? See you on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills!


At  $13.3333333333 a slice it is not a bad price,  especially when it is a cake designed  to celebrate the centennial of the city of Beverly Hills, CA on Sunday, April 27,  as well as a tribute to the police,  firefighters and others who have served this city of the elites.   The venue Rodeo Drive! This is a once in a lifetime chance to bite into a slice of   cake filled with ganache and frosted with buttercream, baked to resemble Beverly Hills City Hall.   The epic masterpiece is 9 ft high, 12 ft wide and 24 foot long .  Price tag $200,000 for 15,000 slices!

Today’s Los Angeles Times front page features an article on the laudable, behind-the-scenes efforts of a master pastry chef painstakingly putting this epic dessert together.  Top experts have been flown in from different states to help in the details and the dome  made of chocolate tiles was constructed in Washington State and flown in as well.   A lot of air travel, connecting flights, labor and logistics were involved, not to mention massive quantities of ingredients …   262 lbs of flour, 460 pounds of sugar, 900 eggs, 210 pounds of butter and a huge measure of chocolate.

I too would have loved to  lift a morsel of this heavenly sounding dessert onto my fork and into my mouth and savor the moist ganache and buttercream frosting.  I would have held it just a little longer till my taste buds were  saturated with its melt-in-the-mouth quality.   Invading this heavenly moment would be a little presence on my right shoulder,   relentlessly nagging me with photographic flashes of an  opposite scene I have witnessed  being played out across town at the intersection of 3rd  and Wall Street in Los Angeles, where Sunday after Sunday for years a group of dedicated people play host to the local homeless population and lay out a spread of donated (both home-cooked and bought) food for them.  What that $200,000 would do for them would be unimaginable and deeply gratifying.  Beverly Hills could have played Robin Hood and become their hero by reducing the size of their cake and donating to the homeless.  They could have had their cake and ….

I  agree to honoring the people who have served the city but could we not have reduced the dimensions of this cake and still celebrate?  I mean 9’x12’x24′?  Come on!  Couldn’t the honorees be rewarded  with something more lasting like a monetary gift  instead of a bite, that will last a full second in the mouth and leave no record of their dedication?

BUT …it will definitely impress!  Oh yes!  Only in Beverly Hills.



7 thoughts on “Designer cake anyone? See you on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills!

  1. I have always wondered about such contrasts, your post reminded me of so many lavish weddings in India and a slum population hardly meeting ends not too far away. Thought provoking, writing, as always.


    • Thank you! One of my ultra-rich Indian was invited to an Indian destination wedding in Cannes. It promised a week of over-the-top entertainment and gourmet food culminating in a “Wedding of the Year” production. She called me from Cannes saying “Aban, I thought of you all the time.” “Why, pray tell?” I laughed. “You would have not liked this at all because they must have spent a fortune impressing one and all. Anyway, I just loved it! Just wanted you to know!”
      Yes I feel the lavish Indian weddings are just occasions to impress the “Phoreigners” and the “Desis”. I do not remember the Indian weddings being such tamashas but they are mini Bollywood productions now.
      I could go on and on but will close with an incident close to home … one of my son’s friend’s wedding.
      He researched tirelessly until he found a company that rents out elephants (Have Trunk Will Travel) for weddings. He spent $10,000 to rent that mammal, had it painted, dressed it gaudily and then sat atop under a just-as-gaudy umbrella. Aarey Bhai, do you realize how many empty bellies you could have filled?


  2. Yes, in our cultural ‘obsession with impression’, we’re missing the point altogether. Great insight, Aban!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s