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Bonnae Gokson is a connoisseur of callings. Socialite, buyer, restaurateur, creative consultant — name the role and Gokson has a line for it on her résumé. On Tuesday evening, the Upper East Side set gathered at Ralph Lauren’s Madison Avenue flagship to toast Gokson’s latest endeavor: a tabletop book of Gokson’s fanciful — and often fashion-inspired — cakes, aptly titled “Butterflies and All Things Sweet.”
As she mingled with the crowd, which included a cameo appearance by Ralph Lauren himself, Gokson clearly had one job on her mind for the evening: the doting hostess.
“Where are your drinks?” Gokson cried to any empty-handed guests. Her head-to-toe Ralph Lauren ensemble — a shocking violet sweater with matching slacks and no shortage of jewels — only added to the exaggerated dramatics.
Once satisfied with the Champagne-to-guest ratio, Gokson rooted herself in front of the room’s main attraction: a display of her signature cakes, flanked by copies of the book and butterfly decor.
“Butterflies are the symbol of my brand,” Gokson said. “They can be so transformational, yet the lifespan is so short.”
And the cake connection?
“We don’t put preservatives in our cakes, so they only last for two or three days,” she explained. “Cakes make me happy.”
Suze Orman, a longtime friend of Gokson, echoed the sentiment.
“A lot of people can make food, but very few people can make art be food,” Orman said. “And Bonnie has the skill to make art food. Have you seen the cake that’s chocolate checkerboard? I like that one because I just can’t figure out how she did that.”
Those looking to try their hand at Gokson’s mastery won’t find any tips within the book, however. Devoid of any actual recipes, the weighty hardback is instead teeming with enticing images of the cakes in all their glory. The self-described “visual feast” also includes Gokson’s inspiration for each confection, which range from Raf Simons’ Dior debut to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.