One of Brooklyn’s celebrity bakers will soon start selling his beloved red velvet cake at your local Applebee’s, a chain restaurant most famous for its riblets.
Cake Man Raven, who has been riding a wave of fame ever since he created a huge red velvet cake shaped like Borough Hall to commemorate Marty Markowitz’s first inauguration in 2002, has inked a deal with Apple-Metro, which operates 25 Applebee’s, two Chevy’s Fresh Mex restaurants and a Zanaro’s Italian restaurant in the New York area.
But don’t call it a sell-out for Cake Man, also known as Raven Patrick De Sean Dennis III.
“Nothing will be different between these cakes at Applebee’s and the cakes I sell at my store” at 708 Fulton St. in Fort Greene, Raven assured The Brooklyn Paper this week, hours before he was set to fly to Trinidad to bake a red velvet cake for a politician there.
“This won’t be a frozen product. It won’t be manufactured at the Applebee’s restaurant. It will be from our bakery in East New York.”
A spokesman for Apple-Metro added that Raven will be making “frequent personal, in-store visits” at the Applebee’s at Flatbush and DeKalb avenues in Fort Greene to check on the quality of his product.
That location is directly across the street from Junior’s, which Applebee’s has been battling for years. Signing Raven, said Apple-Metro CEO Zane Tankel, supercharges the rivalry.
“From now on, “ he said, “people won’t just be flocking to downtown Brooklyn for cheesecake.”
Raven has owned his own store since relocating from Harlem in 2000, but it was that inaugural cake that made his reputation. Since then, he has shipped cakes all over the globe and served his confections at the Grammy Awards, the ESPYs, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He said the deal with Apple-Metro would allow him to expand his operation from 10 full-time employees to 30.
“This is what we have to do to go to the next level,” he said.
Of course, the food world is littered with the soiled toques of chefs who tried to go to the next level too quickly (Soup Nazi, anyone?).
But Raven said his cakes would not decline in quality because he is contractually obligated to remain hands-on.
“I’m going to train all the waiters and waitresses to know that the cake can’t be served if it’s too dry,” he added. “The whole goal is to maintain the quality.”
And take on Junior’s.
©2007 Community News Group
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