One of the best parts of having the new shop at DeKalb Market is being able not only to see all our old regulars again, but to meet all the new fans of Robicelli’s- seeing their reactions as they take their first bite, telling them more about our company, and answering their questions. Some questions are about baking, some are about running a small business, but one comes up so often I just can’t keep count at this point:
"So when are you guys going to be on Cupcake Wars?”
If you’ll recall, we were asked to make an audition video for the show last year, which we gladly did. However, we decided NOT to do the program, as they refused to let us compete as a team- they wanted one of us to be the “chef” and one to be the “assistant”, and that’s not how things work over here. Matt and I are equal partners in marriage, parenting and business, so even though it meant turning down a trip to LA and the opportunity to FINALLY experience In-N-Out, we knew it was the right decision.
I want to try one of these so effing bad.
They called us again for the next season. Again, we said no. When we tell people this story, they look at us like we have sixteen heads. But we both got into this business before “Celebrichefs”, “Cheftestants”, “Chefthaletes” or “Chefarazzi”- we just got into it to cook. We always said that if we had a good tv opportunity we’d consider it, but the ultimate goal was never to be on television- it was to do what we love every day, and do it with each other.
Earlier this year, we were approached about doing a reality show. Totally honest- it was tempting. We asked lot of friends what to do, and everyone said we would be stupid to turn it down. Then we thought about the heart of Robicelli’s- our family. We didn’t want our kids to go to school and have other kids (and other parents) say things to them about our “personal life” they saw on TV, because we all know these shows are 95% fiction and fabrication. Regardless, children don’t know that, and we didn’t want our kids growing up in a false reality. And then after surveying the reality television landscape, we thought we should just cut to the chase and name the show “Robicelli’s: The Fast Track To Divorce”.
We said no. Our family comes first.
And then three week later, we signed the kids up for preschool and saw the bill.
Then we realized that they have slight overbites, and probably need braces like I did.
Then the kids asked why we don’t have yard and requested a puppy.
Then we went down to Princeton to put pressure on our kids, and realized that it’s going to cost us over a million dollars to put them both through college one day.
And that’s when we started to think that the mature, responsible decision we made might have been really really really really stupid.
Seeing that our moment had passed, we went back to our original plan for success: working ridiculously hard. Then a few weeks ago, our apartment flooded and we had to move in with my parents for a while, meaning that I had access to cable television again. And OH MY FREAKING GOD I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO TELEVISION. What was passable guilty pleasure crap has now degraded into such ridiculousness as “Famous Food”, “Mob Wives” and “Hillbilly Handfishing” (thanks to the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck for turning me onto that one!).
Yes, this actually exists. And you thought I was kidding, didn’t you.
What have I learned from this? Well, despite us thinking that no one would want to watch something as boring as two bakers at work, well….really America?!?!? Storage Wars? Cupcake Wars? Parking Wars? I mean, these aren’t really wars, it’s just people working. I’m pretty sure you can walk into any business and just stand there for a while and watch people work. That would be a stupid idea though- it would be far better if you could sit on the couch in your living room and watch people work. This way you could eat popcorn & unbuckle your pants without everyone saying you’re creeping them out like the people at Starbucks are always telling me.
I’ve also learned that since television has apparently completely run out of ideas, maybe our chance hasn’t passed! We decided to give it another shot and put together a little reality tv pilot for you! Now, I have spent HOURS watching Food Network and learning exactly what the people want to see today, and I think I’ve come across the magic formula. A guy, a girl, a bakery? Anything could happen- and DOES!
Call us, Food Network! And go buy some cupcakes, too!
Clockwise from front: Ebinger, Lemon Blueberry Ricotta, Dom DeLuise, Coconut Custard
Ebinger: Chocolate cake, chocolate custard buttercream chocolate fudge glaze, chocolate cake crumbs
Lemon Blueberry Ricotta: Italian lemon cake, ricotta buttercream, blueberries with lemon zest
Dom DeLuise: Pistachio cake, ricotta buttercream, pistachios, citron, chocolate chips
Coconut Custard: Coconut cake, vanilla custard buttercream, roasted coconut
ROBICELLI’S AT DEKALB MARKET: Flatbush Ave Extension & Willoughby Street, Downtown Brooklyn
CAFE AT SAM’S BAKERY- 94th Street off 3rd Ave, Bay Ridge
BAGEL SCHMAGEL: Third Avenue btwn Bay Ridge Pkway & 76th Street, Bay Ridge
ALOHA GRINDS: Third Avenue and 77th Street, Bay Ridge
THE CUPCAKE STAND: Fifth Avenue between 60th and 61st, Sunset Park
CRESPELLA CREPE & ESPRESSO BAR- 321 7th Avenue at 9th Street, Park Slope
TAZZA CAFES- Henry off Atlantic and Clark off Henry, Brooklyn Heights
COURT STREET GROCERS: 485 Court Street, Carroll Gardens
RADISH- Bedford Ave off N8th, Williamsburg
EASTERN DISTRICT- Manhattan Ave off Eagle St, Greenpoint
BROOKLYN STANDARD: Nassau Ave & Jewel St, Greenpoint
RED HOOK LOBSTER POUND: 284 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook and Roving Food Truck *Whoopie Pies only*
CAKESHOP- Ludlow btwn Stanton & Rivington, Lower East Side
BATTERY PLACE MARKET: 77 Battery Place, Battery Park City