Sunday, February 28, 2010

That Takes the Cake 2010

OMG what an awesome weekend!  Me and my college buddy Brianna took a much needed mommy weekend and attended the That Takes the Cake Show 2010, hosted by the Capital Confectioner's Club here in Austin.  We met up at about 9:30 Saturday morning to drop off our competition pieces then went and had some breakfast before heading back to the show in time for opening.
We saw tons of great cakes and got some great ideas for cakes we want to try and make.  The theme this year was Science Fiction and Fantasy and man, did the showpieces deliver!  There were a couple cakes based on the movie Avatar (both of which were phenomenal pieces) and others to ET.  My favorite by far is this bad boy:
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Check out the detail on this one...talk about amazing! Seriously, the creator of this cake is an artist.

I also liked this one too:

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While this wasn't a fantasy or sci-fi theme, the skill and overall design just catches my breath.  The stringwork is superb and I loved everything about it.  I didn't have a traditional cake at my wedding, but if I were, this would have been a top contender for me!

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I love this one...there were little robots all over the cake and they were all cleaning!  Too cute!

And this one was fun also.  It was my husband's favorite too!

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I love all the sci fi and fantasy references on this.  A really simple design that is incredibly detailed too!

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My husband said he wanted this for his birthday cake...now I need to learn how to do a crawfish boil to make it complete!

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I loved the level of skill and detail on this.  I was NOT crazy about the colors.  Personally, it looks like they skinned an 80's floral pattered couch!  But beautiful nonetheless!

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This fella was impressive.  Not only is he 4 feet long and about 3 feet tall, but he is also anatomically correct.  He looked like the real deal, only smaller!

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This entry was also very realistic.  It made me nauseous to look at it because I hate oysters, but I loved it because of it's authenticity.  What can I say...I guess oysters ARE aphrodisiacs!

We looked at a lot of the cakes in the categories we entered and we caught several people admiring the cakes we made.  I gotta admit, it was some tough competition in the adult beginner's novelty one tier!  On hindsight, I think I had the chops to enter in the adult intermediate, but this being my first show, I'll have to wait to do that for next year.  I didn't place in my category, but Brianna took 1st in her division and category!  I was so proud of her.  Here is what she made:

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Brianna's entry

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1st Place in Adult Beginner 1 Tier Novelty - there was a little diorama inside the egg too, which was also equally amazing.  And can you imagine how much time it took to make all those flowers!?

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2nd Place in Adult Beginner 1 Tier Novelty - while this one was lovely and very well-executed, it just didn't grab me. 

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3rd Place in Adult Beginner 1 Tier Novelty

There were a lot of great cakes in my division and while I don't think I should have placed 1st or 2nd with my entry, I am peeved that they chose this Lego cake for 3rd place.  If not mine, there were at least three or four others that should have deserved top honors too and were considerably better in execution and detail than this one.  Sorry, but there it is.  Maybe y'all can help me out, but I'd really like to know why the judges picked that one over some of the other entries for third place.

Beyond the competition though, one of the highlights for Bri and I was meeting Mike McCarey.  Yes, THE Mike McCarey of Mike's Amazing Cakes.  He was really warm and funny and very sweet to take his picture with us.  Seriously, we were like a couple of tweens at a Miley Cyrus concert.  Ok, maybe not so much screaming, but I think the excitement was obvious!  We also took a class on Sunday morning that he was teaching with Lauren Kitchens and Kathy Scott.  I had my reservations about Kathy Scott, but she turned out to be the most hilarious of the three!

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Me and Mike McCarey

All three folks were warm, funny, genuine, down to earth, and did I mention funny?  I think what was most striking about these folks is that they are celebrities, and yet they are so accessible.  Brianna and I are both theatre majors, and we've met quite a few film and stage stars in our time.  I think the difference between Mike and Lauren and someone like George Clooney is that at the end of the day, Mike and Lauren can go home and relax.  George and company can't.  Because of that, all of the instructors at the show were so nice and warm and in good spirits, and that makes a huge difference!

The class overall was chock full of info and if there was anything I took away from this weekend, it was these two things: 1) Modeling chocolate is a medium I need to work in and 2) I still have much to learn or, practice makes perfect.

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From L to R: Lauren Kitchens, Mike McCarey, Nicholas Lodge, and Earlene Moore. In front are the cakes Lauren made that "muppetized" the other three cake artists.


We also perused the vendor stalls and I have quite a few items on my wishlist as well as the vendors I want to contact in order to obtain.  Now all I need to do is figure out how to subtly suggest to my friends and family those desires when it comes to birthday time!

It was a great show and it was a great weekend.  I got to catch up and visit with an old friend, see some amazing cakes, meet Mr. Amazing Cakes himself, and learn some new things.  I can't wait to see what next year holds!

Happy Baking,
Kelly

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