Ever wondered what cake trends and products are popular in the US? Well, wonder no more as we have a fabulous roundup from this year’s fair in October and yes, you will want to book a holiday to Florida just so that you can go next year!
Around 10,000 baking professionals from industry buyers, pastry chefs, cake artists, retail bakers and hobbyists to everyday foodies from around the world convened in Orlando, Florida in October for The Americas Cake Fair, the largest trade and consumer show in North and South America dedicated to cake, chocolate and sugar artistry. The event was hosted by Satin Ice, a popular choice with many of our contributors.
Jam packed with eye-catching, inspiring, and interactive educational and entertaining features appealing to all ages and skill levels, from children to cake design maestros this was an amazing show. The Domino Sugar live theatre served as the centrepiece throughout the weekend, where attendees savoured appearances by ‘Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro, star of the hit TLC show; Mich Turner, whose clientele includes The Queen of England, Madonna and David Beckham; pastry genius Ron Ben-Israel, named ‘the Manolo Blahnik of wedding cakes’ by The New York Times and who we here at CD&S are desperate to see; Nancy Fuller, host of Food Network’s Farmhouse Rules; Natalie Sideserf, co-star of Food Network’s Texas Cake House; renowned cake designers Paul Bradford, Shawna McGreevy, Avalon Yarnes and Edwald Notter; and Stage Host and Celebrity Chef Emily Ellyn, the Retro Rad Chef from Food Network. Phew!
“What I love most about Cake Fair is that it brings together bakers and cake decorators from all over the world to showcase their talents,” said Valastro. “This show is all about sharing and teaching others techniques, recipes and styles. For me, it’s an overload of creativity and inspiration."
The Sugar Art Fashion Cake Show and Competitions
Sweetening the line-up of activities at Cake Fair was The Sugar Art Fashion Show with models strutting the runway adorned by cake costumes and edible ensembles; more than 100 hands-on classes, demonstrations and business seminars during which attendees built their skills and learned from the best in the business; a Live Global Cake Challenge, where 10 international teams battled for top honors (Team Ireland iced a back-to-back victory and $10,000 prize); traditional cake competitions offering cash prizes for contestants across all skill levels; and themed “zones,” including a Kids Zone for budding cake artists, a Chocolate Zone, and the ACD Magazine Cake Zone sponsored by American Cake Decorating Magazine. Attendees were inspired by spectacular show cakes dotting the show floor, as well as a life-size Superwoman live sculpted by The Chocolate Genius, Paul Yoachim. The new-to-Cake Fair VIP Meet & Greet Party, which gave attendees an exclusive opportunity to mingle and take snaps with their favorite stage headliners and Satin Ice Artists of Excellence, was an instant hit. The 16th Annual Pillsbury™ Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Creative Decorating Competition, hosted by General Mills Foodservice and the Retail Bakers of America, also created excitement on the show floor.
Two significant announcements highlighted the awards ceremony: standout cake designer and owner of Central Florida-based Bake Me A Cake, Mercedes Strachwsky, received an Industry Achievement Award for her contributions to the cake and baking industry (her dazzling show cake, ‘Fantasy Under the Sea’, was a creation three weeks in the making); and Satin Ice announced its new partnership with Icing Smiles to support the national nonprofit organization that partners with volunteer bakers known as ‘sugar angels’ to create custom cakes for families impacted by the critical illness of a child.
Said Kevin O’Reilly, founder and CEO of Satin Fine Foods and Cake Fair, “our show is setting a new standard for professionals and hobbyists alike, as evidenced by the increased level of quality and creativity of the competition cakes in just two years.”
The inaugural Cake Fair in 2015 became an immediate sensation among professionals and consumers. Partners and sponsors of The Americas Cake Fair include American Cake Decorating; Ateco; Cake Masters; Dawn Foods; DecoPac; Domino Sugar; Guittard Chocolate Company; Nielsen-Massey; Pillsbury; Retail Bakers of America; Sterling Bank; and The Retail Baking Industry Foundation.
For more news and show highlights, follow Cake Fair on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@cakefair). For more information, visit www.CakeFair.com and you too could plan a visit or enter the competition!