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Kim Oborne of Publix Super Markets’ Fort Lauderdale, Fla., store was crowned the winner of the International Dairy•Deli•Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) 14th annual Cake Decorating Challenge, which was held in conjunction with the Madison, Wis.-based trade group’s annual seminar and expo this week in Atlanta.
Anne Freeman of Hy-Vee’s Ames, Iowa, store was runner-up, while the third-place winner was Charra Jarosz of Quality Food Centers in Seattle.
“Grace under pressure is the best way to describe the unique, multitalented competitors in IDDBA’s 14th Annual Cake Decorating Challenge,” said IDDBA executive director Carol Christison. “If you’ve ever been involved in a contest where your skills were being judged and your every action scrutinized by hundreds of people, you have an inkling of the challenges these decorators faced. Their incredible skill levels, creativity, and unique ability to create beauty in multiple platforms are what make them stand out from the crowd.
“It’s not enough to be good at production cakes or wedding cakes or theme cakes,” continued Christison. “These competitors must excel in all three categories -- and excel they do. Their abilities make them the very best at what they do. Each is a champion, and each is worthy of the honor of being one of the top three decorators in the country. They are exceptional.”
There are three phases to the challenge. On Sunday, June 7, each contestant decorated enough cakes to fill one multitiered, eight-foot bakery case. On Monday, June 8, each contestant decorated a wedding cake, and Tuesday, June 9, found each contestant decorating three cakes of their choosing from each category: special occasion, theme/event, and decorator’s interpretation of the IDDBA’s Dairy-Deli-Bake ’09 show theme, “The Show of Shows.”
Judges for the contest were Luke Bender, Maplehurst Bakeries, Inc. and Jim Caliendo, Rich Products Corp. Ray Lippert of Bakery Crafts was on site to support the contestants and provide equipment and cake-decorating accessories, tips, equipment, and support, while HC Brill Co., Inc.; Enjay Converters, Ltd.; Flavor Right Foods; Lawrence Foods, Inc., Maplehurst Bakeries, Inc.; and Rich Products Corp. provided product for the event.