The Southern Food & Beverage Museum teamed up with Delgado Community College and John E Koerner & Co., Inc., to host the first Big Top Cake Competition and Bakery Carnival in New Orleans. We invited professional cake decorators and students to create a spectacular circus themed cake to be judged by the public on Saturday, June 25. We were truly blown away by the response--the cakes were fantastic and showed off the amazing skills that these cake specialists have developed.
The field opened with eight contestants--five professional entries and three student entries. In addition, we asked bakeries to participate in the first Bakery Carnival to show off their more edible skills. We had three bakeries enter the carnival with their delicious treats, which we enjoyed as we gazed at the decorated cakes and decided which one would get our vote.
The bakers streamed into the museum in the morning, carrying various sized boxes filled with the layers of their cakes. Some stretched up to the ceiling, while others created intricate carnival scenes with Cracker Jacks and lions. Matching tasting cakes were set up for the judges, and final finishes were sprinkled around.
Three professional judges were there to make their expert decisions on who crafted the most impressive cake and bakery treats. As they tasted and examined, the bakers finally had a few minutes to relax before the doors opened to the public.
We asked museum attendees to vote for their favorite cakes and bakery carnival contestants. As the judges finished up their official review, we were able to serve samples of the tasting cakes as well, to give everyone more cake. Because everyone always needs more cake. This is what those gorgeous tasting cakes looked like at the end:
But enough about eating! There were, of course, winners! Since we had a team of professional judges, we were able to crown winners for each category as well as a people's choice winner for the carnival and the cake decorating. Congratulations to the winners as well as all of the chefs and bakers who put so much work into these amazing creations. Stay tuned for next year's competition as well as the SoFAB Bakery Entrepreneurship Day that we'll be planning with the proceeds from this year's event.
1st Place: Cesar Barachino, Executive Pastry Chef from Pear River Resorts
People's Choice: Cesar Barachino, Executive Pastry Chef from Pear River Resorts
Cake Decorating, Student:
1st Place: Cynthia Hutto, Delgado
2nd Place: LeAnna Tigsby, Delgado
3rd Place: Bricen Lawson, Delgado
Cake Decorating, Professional:
1st Place: Melissa Daniel, Rouses
2nd Place: Becky Rodriguez
People's Choice for Cake Decorating: Melissa Daniel, Rouses