Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I won!

I had a BLAST at the Let's Eat Cake Fundraiser last night! I am extremely competitive so I thrive in the stress of safely transporting and setting up everything for competitions. This was my first cake competition, but I was mentally prepared by watching lots of Food Network coverage of the Oklahoma Sugar Art Show competitions. That's the most prestigious wedding cake competition in the nation! One day, I'll be there...

Anyway, back to Let's Eat Cake! The bakers were allowed to set up their cakes approximately 3-4pm. Then the judging was to take place until 5pm and then we were allowed to enter and prepare for the public entrance at 6pm. My cake made the trip across town perfectly fine so I was thrilled! I managed to get the whole thing inside...and then I broke the bow off the front as I was putting the fabric around the base. Oh well! I did my best to "glue" it back on with some royal icing, but it just didn't want to stay put. I happened to have a Willow Tree piece that my cousin gave me at my bridal shower (thank you, Heather!). I brought it in case the bride and groom on top of my cake didn't make the trip. Since they were ok, I used the Willow Tree couple to stand in front of the bow and hold it in place. I also hid a tiny Tupperware under the orange fabric on the right-hand side of the bow ribbon. Apparently no one noticed it and the wooden couple didn't look TOO out of place. Phew! Here's what my table looked like when I left the room for the judging:


The plates on the table were left for the judges to taste. The cake I prepared was White Cake with Chocolate-Kissed Raspberry filling so I put XOXO on their plates in chocolate frosting and placed a raspberry over each O (get it, chocolate-kissed???). When we checked into the contest earlier that day, we drew our table assignments at random. God was smiling on me because I drew table 2! If you look behind my cake to the left, that is the entrance the public came through. Table 1 was actually on the other side of the door all by itself so I have a feeling a lot of people overlooked it. :( My table was the first one people saw and pretty much everyone tried my cake! I imagine, by the time people got to table 30, they were a little sick of cake... My table location couldn't have been more perfect! Oh, and a special thanks to Elise who gave me the white cake recipe and helped me pick out the pink, white, and peach fabric with which I decorated my table!

Since we drew tables at random, no one knew who were professionals and who were amateurs (except the judges). Here are the other entries into the competition. The first cake with the "R" on it is by Cyndi Richardson, who is another Wilton Instructor at Michael's. The second cake with the white roses was made by a woman who took Course 1 and Course 2 from me. It was exciting to see what she made, especially since she hasn't taken any of the fondant classes yet!































































































































































My awesome grandparents drove down from Rockledge, FL to be at the competition with me. We were able to grab a quick bite to eat before the competition and they even helped me tear it all down afterwards. Also, my other grandpa made the plywood cake board that supported the whole cake! Thank you so much guys!



Elise and I took a picture with Kerry Vincent, as seen on the Food Network. Rumor has it that she was VERY hard on the cakes when she was judging!

Paige Beck from WCJB TV 20 news (the local news) was there with her camera crew. The camera crew didn't get my cake at all, but they announced the winners on the 11pm news so it was exciting to hear my name on TV! I went to bed with a smile on my face, literally! haha!

Here I am receiving my first award for the Crowd's Favorite in the Amateur Division from Melissa, the event organizer, while Kerry Vincent announced it. I was really excited to get this award because that's what cake decorating is all about - pleasing the client! Accompanying this award was a gift pack from Michael's which included a large rolling pin (which I actually don't have yet), a fondant smoother, meringue powder, and luster dust.

Here, Melissa and I are posing with my second award which was for Best of Show in the amateur division. I was also very excited about this award! I tried to use as many different techniques on my cake as I could - gum paste flowers, gum paste modeling (the bride and groom topper), stringwork, piping, etc. - in an effort to get this award. This is the prize I coveted most of all! And I was hugely surprised that this honor came with a new stand mixer!!! Can you believe it!?!? I'm so thrilled! It's a white 5.5-quart Cuisinart and I think I've found another love in my life (sorry, Adam, Nani, and my KitchenAid Mixer). This one has a timer on the side and 12 (yes, 12) speed settings. Man, I can go to TOWN with my mixers now! Watch out cakes, here I come!

Here's a fun shot of all the winners...let's see if I can remember everyone...Left to right...
Heavenly Cakes by Neil won Best of Show for Professionals
me
Lisa Menz from Cakes by Lisa won Most Original Design for Professionals
Cyndi Richardson won Most Original Design for Amateurs (Yay, Cyndi!)
Debbie from Ms Debbie's Sugar Art won Tastiest Cake for Professionals (Great job, Gail! She took the classes from me too and she does all Debbie's baking.)
Whatsername won Tastiest Cake for Amateurs
Whatsername won Crowd's Favorite for Professionals


Cyndi and I showing off our winnings! Look, Cyndi's apron pattern matches her cake! Coincidence??? I think not! Haha!
And Lourdes made me pose with both of my plaques visible.



Last and CERTAINLY not least, here's an amazing photo of all the people who were there to support me last night. Thank you all SO much for your encouragement! It means a lot to me to have such awesome family and friends. You guys paid the steep entry fee AND gave up your evening to support me. Thank you so much, Nicole, Shelby, Grandma, Elise, Lourdes, Grandpa, and Lorelei!Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way - June, Cyndi, Chris, Pam, and Elaine! June and Cyndi were my Wilton instructors so I learned all the important basics from them. Chris and Pam helped me troubleshoot my tulip-making. And Elaine came to the rescue last week with last-minute instructions when I decided to attempt bridgeless stringwork for the first time!

And, of course, thank you to everyone who supported me from afar. For your sake, I won't name everyone but here's just a few: Mom and Dad, Robin, Mr. and Mrs. Judge, all Mom and Dad's friends and coworkers, Grandma and Grandpa Mitchell, and all my extended family. Your emails and phone calls of love and encouragement were really special to me. I am blessed to have all of you in my life! And, no, I didn't forget the most important person - Adam! Although he had to go out of town this week, I know he was there in spirit. I love you, Adam, and I hope I always make you proud!

Whoa, did that sound like an acceptance speech? Sorry about that - didn't mean to go all Golden Globe on you! I just wanted to make sure you all knew how much you are appreciated!

2 comments:

Aunt Deb said...

You are so funny - we all love you dearly. I can't wait to see you on the Food Network in the future beating all the competitors. And I can proudly say, that's MY NIECE.

Love you

Aunt Debbie

Lark said...

"They like me, they really like me!"

Wow, that's so awesome that you won! I wish I could have been there to taste your cake. Are you really still considered an amature? I'd say you did a professional job :o)

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