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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

That Takes The Cake 2011: Celebrity Guest Demonstrations

That Takes The Cake 2011
Capital Confectioners' 7th Annual Art Show & Cake Competition
Celebrity Guest Demonstrations

Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of the special celebrity guest demonstrators, but I did get them all to autograph my show poster.  I had the honor of being video camera girl during the entire thing.  We had rented Alamo Drafthouse's 13'x24' screen, projector, and audio rig, so everyone was literally bigger than life.  I had the responsibility of keeping the camera on the demonstrators and their work for everyone else to see.  Every single demonstrator was totally awesome, so fun and informative.  I enjoyed this much more than last year.
Location: North Austin Event Center, Austin, TX
Time: Sunday, February 27th, 2011 9 AM - 2 AM
Total Hours: 3.75
  • Lorraine McKay - modeling cute cartoony frog from fondant
  • James Rosselle - cutting, wiring, and decorating 3 different flowers
  • Mike McCarey - sculpting a dog cake with dowels and boards
  • Marina Sousa - making jewels and beads with Isomalt
  • Susan Carberry - sculpting a mushroom cake using PVC piping as internal structure
This was a fun and whimsical tutorial.  She informed us that she uses fondant, not gumpaste, to do these figures.  This frog required very few tools and media.

James is so wonderfully tall and did such intricate work on these flowers, it was hard to keep the camera focused on what the audience needed to see!  He informed us that Fondarific will be launching his own special line/formula for gumpaste.  He showed us how to use a groove board, different cutters, how to insert wires into the petals and arrange them.  We even got to see him airbrush a few at the end.

Right off the bat Mike was running at a mile a minute!  When I approached him to attach the wireless lavaliere mic on his chef's coat, he said "Sure, but I won't need it!"  He was right.  He didn't want to stand behind the counters, but instead talk and walk closer to the audience.  I gave up trying to keep the camera on him.  His assistant had to hold up printed pictures to my camera for everyone to see.  He showed us how to create a blueprint for carving and sculpting cake of a dog sitting up.  Mike had documented the entire process in a series of large print photos that he showed us.  He brought in the different pieces of wood and the tools he uses to make the base.  Mike says he uses a very specific brand of fondant that of course I can't remember the name of.  He likes its workability and stretchiness.  To smooth out fondant seams, he wets the fondant and rubs it with his finger times.  Mike showed us the Dremel tool that he likes to use to cut out his custom wood bases (gotta get me one of those!).

After some technical difficulties with the stove, we eventually got Marina going and showing us how to work with Isomalt.  She did some real-time isomalt melting in a pot to show us about how long it takes.  She had some pre-melted and warmed in a microwave that she used to pour into silicone molds.  Marina showed us the molds she helped develop that can make a beautiful string of sugar beads.

Susan was a lot of fun.  She even shot confetti out of her cake!  She showed us how to work with PVC and flanges to create a base and internal structure for a sculpted cake.  Susan shows us a cool trick for supporting boards!  If you have a PVC pipe going up the middle, cut a slightly thicker but shorter pipe and slide it over.  Slide down your cake board with a hole the size of the inner pipe.  It should sit and rest comfortable on the outer pipe.  To stabilize the board, you can cut another piece of larger pipe and slide it down the middle pipe so it will sandwich the board.  If you need the board to sit wacky, cut the pipes slanted!  Easy way to stability and support a cake!  To shoot out confetti, she showed us some tubing connected to a compressed air canister for pumping up bike tires.  Yeah ... I'm not going to remember all these hardware components she talked about!

I really wish I could have taken notes and pictures, but I barely had time to scarf down lunch before the audience called me back up to zoom in on James!  Next year I'm saddling hubby to work the camera!

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