You have to have both talent and nerves of steel to participate in the IDDBA Cake Decorating Challenge.
For the length of the IDDBA conference, the three cake designer finalists work on different assignments in the middle of the Show & Sell Center on the expo floor.
“These decorators were subjected to a very intense schedule. Day one had them creating enough cakes to fill an eight-foot bakery case. Day two had them creating a wedding cake, and day three was the creation of three separate special event cakes, one of which was a show theme cake,” said Carol Christison, executive director of the International Deli-Dairy-Bakery Association, at the awards presentation today on the show floor.
“Cakes are judged on theme, color, uniformity, writing, style and use of accessories,” Christison added.
Amy Murtha, Hy-Vee, Belton, Mo.; Andria Chinander, Lund Food Holdings (Byerly’s) Edina, Minn.; and Stacie Clawson, Walmart Supercenters, Perry, Utah (see top right photo, from left to right) — this year's finalists — were constantly surrounded by admiring show-goers during the competition.
The finalists were picked from over 70 contestants who applied to the challenge.
Byerly’s Chinander (left photo) took first prize this year, with Hy-Vee’s Murtha taking second place, and Classon taking third (right bottom photo).
“This contest gets harder and hard to judge as the contestants get better and better. And each of our challengers worked hard and showed off their best decorating moves,” Christison said.
IDDBA President Steve Beekhuizen presented the trophies to the award winners.
Update 6/15: Here is the wedding cake from second place winner Amy Murtha. We'll have more photos up with our SN 6/25 issue show coverage.