Monster-Sized Cake for Restaurant Week

June 26, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

For the 10th birthday celebration of Restaurant Day and Week, a giant birthday cake from Oppizzi Designs adorned Rockefeller Plaza. The event included a short press conference, where NYC & Company restaurant committee chair Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group spoke to a small crowd of reporters and restaurant folk.

Restaurant Day and Restaurant Week launch event Rockefeller Center Wednesday, 06.19.02, 11 AM to 12 PM
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NYC & Company and its restaurant week PR partners at M. Young Communications like to do things big to launch New York's annual Summer Restaurant Week promotions. They've already done big lemons and big slices of cheesecake, and this year they brought a giant birthday cake to Rockefeller Plaza to celebrate Restaurant Week's 10th anniversary.

Built by Michael Oppizzi and James Barry of Oppizzi Designs and Michael Stone of Millennium Catering, the giant cake measured eight feet tall (including 10 four-foot candles on top) and six feet wide and weighed approximately 300 pounds. The entire cake was covered with chocolate buttercream frosting, but only a small fraction of the cake was an edible yellow sponge cake. The rest was fake cake, made of weatherproof materials like plywood framing, glue, screws and nails.

In attendance at the press event were the usual suspects from New York's restaurant industry, including Danny Meyer, Tim Zagat, Tracy Nieporent, Rita Jammet and Tony May. They were joined onstage by Chuck Hart of the New York Restaurant Association, Marcia Stein of Citymeals-on-Wheels, Thomas Madden of Tishman Speyer Properties (owner of Rockefeller Center) and Terry Dale of NYC & Company. After the standard “Restaurant-Week-is-great” remarks to the assembled journalists and tourists, the officials cut into the edible portion of the cake for a photo op.

Nine of the original Restaurant Week participants and the Institute of Culinary Education provided comparatively smaller cakes, and the attendees and passersby who patiently waited out the ceremony eventually got some dessert.

Suzanne Ito

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