If your not scared your not pushing yourself!
Last year I decided to push my limits, instead of hiding away in my little hobbit hole I was to put myself out there in the cake universe, and the world. So I thought to myself, what would scare the pants off me?. The answer – enter competitions!
After a good hour or so of self conversing of how mad I am, (talking to yourself a good guide to pretty nuts!), I logged onto my laptop, pulled up Cake Internationals page and registered for November 2018 at NEC Birmingham, Fantasy Flowers category. Why Fantasy Flowers you may ask, considering my botanical range had consisted of 1 realistic rose up to that point it was possibly a strange choice. Honestly, my logic was that as it was fantasy, it may give me some cushion if the flowers were not that fantastic.
Cake International 2018
The year flew by and before I knew it Cake International was a week away, I had done nothing except freak out up until this point. I joined a great Facebook group and saw that I was not alone, many were in the same position and bashing it out until the final hours. This helped a lot!, so I began trying to put together what was in my head and translate that into sugar form.
I wanted to create tree /plant folk, my inspiration for the little girl succulent is my granddaughter Autumn-Rose. I also wanted it to be in the season of Autumn and depict the tones and feelings of fall. I then moved onto the mother model, as I was creating her Autumn said it was her mummy, so I based the colourings on her mum’s and added her baby brother Theo too, being carried on his mother’s back with a harness made of leaves. For the Stump I carved a dummy cake and added dehydrated pineapple flowers around the board. The board was decorated with poppy seeds and a quinoa mix.
During the whole week I barely had any sleep and was a bit of a mess!. I finished my piece the night before opening, had about 2 hours sleep, and then drove all the way to Birmingham. The cake made it in 1 piece and got onto the table.. Hooray! I was at the show for the whole weekend solo, so step 2 in scaring your pants off kicked in – socialising!. I actually spoke to people, not only did I speak to people but I got in pictures with people and took selfies, for me mammoth steps.
The whole weekend and my first experience of CI was amazing, even as a sleep deprived mess. How did I do?, I didn’t place and was just shy I believe of a merit. The feedback from the judge was lovely, I got told my modelling was really good and had I just done a few tweaks and adds I would have placed, I was really happy.
Let’s do this!
I got home and I was feeling good about the whole experience and the feedback, so thought I would see what was next. I wanted to push myself a bit further and compete in 2 categories, (told you, nuts!). I saw that Salon Culinaire was in January, again at the NEC Birmingham, and with my colleges support I entered. My tutor at Barking & Dagenham college, Kelly Mackenzie, was to be a judge at Salon Culinaire for some of the categories. I had to be sure not to mention anything or show anything around her, Even to the point of when I arrived at the show, she had to leave the area when I was setting up so she did not know what pieces were mine. Ninja cake moves were at level 5!
Salon Culinaire 2019
I entered into the sculpted cake senior category and tasted cupcakes. I went through a lot of different ideas of what to do for each but kept changing my mind. Then Funko pop Niffler came into my life. He passed by me at Christmas, in the kitchen, waiting to be wrapped as a present from my daughter to her boyfriend. I decided as soon as I saw him he was to be my sculpted pieces inspiration et voila cakey niffy was born!
He is my first sculpted, all cake piece and the gems were my first attempt at isomalt. I spent most of his creation putting myself down, but when he finally came together, I was chuffed. My second entry was my cupcake girls, you can read all about them in detail in my blog, D is for… dontcha wish your cupcake was hot like me!. Again with both of these entries, I was not finished until 1am and then driving to Birmingham at 2am to deliver to the show. However, this time I was calmer and felt more on track than the last time.
The results were 2 Bronze medals and fantastic feedback from the judges. Salon Culinaire was a great show to attend and enter into, I cannot wait for the next one!.
What comes next?
Following on from Salon I have put myself out there even more by joining more groups, entering in some very exciting collaborations, some of which are very scary and freaking me out, so should be good!. I have entered Cake International 2019 @ Excel, London and am looking into other competitions this year too.
So watch this space! 😁
I have so many pictures of the 2 competitions it is crazy! Below are a few from Cake International that I have picked out. All Salon Culinaire pictures are available to view on our facebook page.