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    Bakery Trends: IDDBA Wants Store-Level Decorators to Take the Cake

    Move over, Sportscenter: you’ve got some stiff competition, courtesy of my would-be “Cake Boss” son, whose recent penchant for TLC’s talented family-fondant aficionados — which, amusingly, even includes DVR-ing new episodes that air during his JV basketball season — makes me think that he would also enjoy a visit to the upcoming installment of the IDDBA’s annual June confab in Houston, which will host its 15th annual Cake Decorating Challenge for store-level decorators.

    Move over, Sportscenter: you’ve got some stiff competition, courtesy of my would-be “Cake Boss” son, whose recent penchant for TLC’s talented family-fondant aficionados — which, amusingly, even includes DVR-ing new episodes that air during his JV basketball season — makes me think that he would also enjoy a visit to the upcoming installment of the IDDBA’s annual June confab in Houston, which will host its 15th annual Cake Decorating Challenge for store-level decorators.

    As one of the featured events on the IDDBA show floor, which will be held June 6-8, 2010, in Houston, three supermarket cake decorators will face off to create show-stopping displays that promote their artistic abilities and show off the talent and hard work that sells cakes for their companies.

    On a slightly smaller scale but every bit as beautiful as the elaborate cakes produced by Buddy Valastro and his clan, who bicker, cajole and torment one another while whipping up custom creations that can fetch $3,000 a piece, the skills of IDDBA’s store-level decorators will be evaluated in three areas: production cakes, theme cakes and wedding cakes. The challenge begins with creating enough raw cake ingredients to fill an 8-foot bakery case on Day One, while Day Two will pit the decorators in a bid for the best wedding cake creation. On the last day, each contestant will decorate three cakes of their choosing from each category: special occasion, theme/event and decorator’s choice.

    Three contestants (one store-level decorator from each of the three supermarkets) will compete for first-, second- and third-place trophies. There will also be a separate trophy for the store of the first-place winner. The IDDBA will cover transportation, lodging and meals for each contestant during the contest. Materials and tools will be provided, and each contestant will be able to keep the full set of professional cake decorating tips and supplies used for the challenge.

    To enter a member of your team, cake decorators need only to send a photo album (which will be returned) of the best cakes they’ve ever decorated, along with an entry form. The deadline for entering is, sweetly enough, Feb. 14, 2010. The more photos sent, the easier it is for the selection committee to determine the skill level, and retailers may enter as many contestants as they choose. For more details and entry form, visit www.iddba.org or call Anne Terrien at 608-310-5000.

    You can view photos of cakes from last year’s challenge by visiting http://iddba.org/cakekim.aspx

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