Designing for New York, Celebrities and Chef Roblé

During season one of “Chef Roblé & Co,” which aired on Bravo earlier this year, fans were virtually wined and dined by watching chef Roblé Ali and his team meet the fun, unexpected and sometimes stressful requests of his clients. The mission was clear, win each client over with the food and the perfect ambiance to go with it. From celebrities Vanessa L. Williams, Johnny Weir, Bevy Smith to Kandi Burruss and Rachel Dratch, the stakes were definitely high and the chance to impress was now or never.

While he took care of the food, Roblé called on big sister Jasmine to design the setting and take care of every logistical detail from the lighting, stages, table linens, wine glasses and entertainment.  Watching her made it feel like a breeze with a little bumps here and there, when it fact it was all new to her it all.  “I have zero, zero experience. Not some, I never taken a class, I barely watch Martha Stewart. But what I am is a person who likes aesthetics.  Like if I threw a party personally, I know how to make everyone in the room feel extremely comfortable.”  Jasmine just knew she would be able to put her communication, business and entertainment experience to work on the show. She did but with a twist, instead of calling in the design experts, she was going to become the design expert.

Born in New York and raised in Houston, she moved back to the Big Apple to attend school where she changed her major from fashion to advertising communications. From there, she graduated and went on to work for talent agencies and in the entertainment industry.  A move to Atlanta inspired the birth of her company Co-Conspirator, a business that provides strategic management for creative entrepreneurs to launch their businesses.  She also started her company Muze while in Los Angeles where she worked with new and developing artists of which she worked alongside P. Diddy, Faith Evans, Nicole Ari Parker, Brandy and Talib Kweli on projects.

The concept of the show on Bravo had been in the works for years.  Roblé and a friend were playing around with the idea which at the time was more of a cooking show verus a reality documentary.  As he continued to tweak the concept and shop it around to different networks, it would be a call to Jasmine years later that finally a production company was interested in shooting a pilot.  After a series of actions, a pilot led to season one and the rest is history.

A New Design Star is Born

Although she was new to beign the design star herself, what she did bring from past experiences was inspiration from the numerous parties, events and social affairs that she attended over the years.  When talking about her approach to the show, she says, “I have seen it all.  New Yorkers have seen it all so you have to bring it up another notch.”  In addition, how she treated Roblé’s clients as a reflection of how she would entertain personally.  “I like relaxed settings. Lighting is a big, big deal for me. Fluidity is a big thing for me. I want each person to feel comfortable and pampered. I like the food to be accessible.  I like the drinks to be accessible. I like the way the room is formed so everyone can be engaged and see each other. I want to make sure each person is having their own experience at the party.”

When asked about her favorite or suggested retailers for designing the perfect event, she mentioned Target, Crate & Barrel and Pier 1. Of course the show’s events called for the use of party rental companies giving the size and what was needed, but for at-home parties, these three stores will provide amazing design elements for any occasion.

Jasmine is not one for trends and instead looks to everyday surroundings, pictures and even vacations for inspiration. “Not only am I inspired by looking at design pieces but going to museums, going to parks, going to see the botanical gardens and seeing different colors and going to the flower district.” She also takes cues from what her clients say they want and from there she is off and running to be creative and make it happen. She is a fan of pulling from created lists and other pockets of filed inspiration for later use.

With several events under her belt, she shared a few tips with us for readers who may not be planning for a celebrity and friends but still want to have a top notch affair.  The first is for you, the host, to be as relaxed as you want your guest to be.  If you are stressed, then your guests may become stressed as well. “Try to be as prepared as you can,” she says.  The second is not to ignore the forgotten items in your home that may fit your theme or decor. “Remember the things that you have in your home that you can use and incorporate [into your event theme]. Having a party does not have to cost you a lot of money.  Planning is key.”

In the end, we didn’t get a confirmation about whether or not there will be a season 2 of the show, but from the sighting of Roblé in Bravo’s new TV campaign with other reality show personalities, we would say things are looking good. We’ll be anxiously waiting for the announcement and Jasmine’s return to see where her inspiration takes her next.

For more information about season one of Chef Roblé & Co, visit Bravo’s website.  Stay updated on the show and other upcoming projects by following Jasmine and Chef Roblé on Twitter.

Photo credit: Heidi Gutman/Bravo

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Sheree has been penning stories since the fifth grade. Her stories took a delicious and adventurous turn as an adult when she became a foodie.