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Hy-Vee’s most creative cake designers from across the Midwest will compete this weekend for a shot at being named the Iowa-based grocer's best cake decorator in the finals of Hy-Vee’s 2015 Cake Designer Challenge.
Celebrity guest judge Joshua John Russell from the television shows “Food Network Challenge” and “Last Cake Standing” will be on hand to help decide this year’s winner.
The designers will have three hours to decorate a three-tiered wedding cake and a specialty cake of their choosing in front of spectators Saturday at Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines. The entrants will be judged on the cakes’ technical appearance, icing appearance and level of difficulty.
“We are so proud of all the talented designers throughout the company,” said Nate Stewart, VP of perishables at Hy-Vee. “This year’s semifinal competitions have produced some of the most beautiful and creative cakes you can imagine. These 18 finalists are sure to put on an entertaining show.”
Designers will be judged by a panel of experts, including celebrity guest judge Russell. The top three finishers of the final competition will earn $1,700, $750 and $500, respectively. The designers will also score their peers’ cakes, and one designer will receive the Designers’ Choice Award and $500.
More than 190 designers competed in six regional semifinal events throughout Hy-Vee’s eight-state territory in the 2015 Cake Designer Challenge. The following are the 18 finalists:
- Stephanie Dillon, Lee’s Summit, Mo., Langsford Landing Hy-Vee
- Sandra Fridley, Des Moines, East Euclid Hy-Vee
- Patty Hammond, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mount Vernon Hy-Vee
- Stacie Hanselman, Sioux Falls, S.D., Hy-Vee at Cliff
- Michelle Juranko, Moline, Ill., Moline #1 Hy-Vee
- Beth Klein, Harlan, Iowa
- Heather Krumm, Grinnell, Iowa
- Amy Murtha, Belton, Iowa
- Bill Raes, Moline, Ill., Moline #1 Hy-Vee
- Amber Rahe, Mankato, Minn., Hilltop Hy-Vee
- Melissa Ring, Burlington, Iowa, Hy-Vee on Agency
- Amber Rook, Cedar Falls, Iowa
- Linda Schneider, Ankeny, Iowa, Ankeny #1 Hy-Vee
- Janine Schwendinger, Rochester, Minn., Hy-Vee Barlow Plaza
- MacKenzie Scott, Sioux Falls, S.D., Hy-Vee on South Minnesota
- Stephanie Sessions, Kansas City, Mo., Kansas City #3 Hy-Vee
- Heather Sullivan, Omaha, Neb., Linden Market Hy-Vee
- Sharon Sykes, Lincoln, Neb., Superior Hy-Vee
West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee Inc. operates more than 235 retail stores across eight Midwestern states.