April 15, 2010

My First Cake Contest

I'm no Cake Boss or Ace of Cakes, but I tried my hand at a cake decorating competition last weekend here in the greater Chicago area. Cake decorating is just one of the many things I do; inherently, I'm more of a baker than an artist. I like texture and substance in food more than presentation and artistry.

But this was fun, and I was glad I participated. I didn't win anything, but I learned a lot. Like how much bigger is better at these sorts of things! I knew from the moment I entered the parking lot and saw all the massive SUVs that I would be outdone by size. My trusty Chouquette, the pint-sized MINI Cooper a.k.a. Pom-mobile "delivery truck" for the business, arrived carting not one but two little entries in its tiny boot, and I went up against Hummers and Suburbans carting massive 6-foot tall towers of detail and decor!

The judges weren't all that constructive (check out the new Flickr Photostream feature at right and see the captions for total cake contest coverage), but as in any competitive sport, it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. I was proud of my work, enjoyed having the chance to execute some crazy ideas swimming around in my head, and got to hang out with some really supportive friends who made the trip to way-the-hell-out-there Chicagoland to wish me well.

Throughout this blog post, I've included a few of the winners, with my own two posted at the bottom. The top left is Sunday's Best of Show winner; the one at right and directly below was Decorator's and People's Choice. But definitely check out the Photostream to get some close-ups on my own handiwork.

On a final note, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce a new addition to the Spoonfoolery food blogging staff--my good friend The Zesty Lemon! Now our guest restaurant critic, he is a man about this food town, an experienced restaurant critic, and a very fabulous foodie. He's an expert home chef, regularly knocking anything French or Italian out of the ballpark. Zesty Lemon and I recently experienced a local eatery in my West Side Chicago neighborhood that's been all the rage this spring. Watch for his report on Longman & Eagle in the next post. Welcome Zesty Lemon!


jbiesi said...

Nice work! I think you're picnic cake looked great, but if the people wanted over-sized birds what can you do.


Actually, the picnic cake was one of the other entrant's. Mine were the two at the bottom. Maybe my peacock wasn't over-sized enough???

lh said...

I find myself thinking that the peacock tail must have taken an Everest of patience to do all the detail! How lovely it is, and how much it reminds me of your site artwork. Only having seen this on TV, I wonder- are all the cakes truly edible? And does anyone eat them at the end--what happens to all the cakes?