IDDBA’s 2013 Cake Challenge Contestants Announced

The International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) has announced the three contestants chosen to participate in the 18th annual IDDBA Cake Decorating Challenge to be held at IDDBA’s Dairy-Deli-Bake 2013 seminar and expo in Orlando, FL, June 2-4. There were 68 entrants from 31 supermarket chains.

IDDBA Executive Director Carol Christison commented, “I’m surprised that there are only a few cake-oriented TV food shows out there. It’s not for lack of talent. The number of contestants and incredible skills displayed by entrants in the IDDBA’s Annual Cake Decorating Challenge shows there are enough talented decorators for many more shows.  While many of these decorators have had professional culinary training, many of them are self-taught and have learned their skills on the job.  They know what will work, how to work under pressure, and, most importantly, how to WOW the customer.  Supermarket cake decorators have to be multi-talented.  They need to work at a fast pace to create production cakes and they need to work at their creative peak for custom theme cakes and spectacular wedding cakes.  The entrants in this year’s contest meet those demands and demonstrate exceptional performance on all levels.  They’ve met the Challenge!”

The decorators receiving an all-expense paid trip to compete are:

Kelli Coleman, Dillons, Lawrence, KS. Kelli has been decorating cakes for 8 years and has been with Dillons for 4½ years. Although she has taken some Wilton Cake Decorating classes, Kelli is largely self-taught. This talented decorator is also the district trainer for her company’s pastry cases and enjoys participating in events such as bridal shows and the Taste of Lawrence (a local food event).

Dawnette Costa, Giant Eagle, Erie, PA. A cake decorating veteran, Dawnette has over 30 years of experience. She has been with Giant Eagle for the past 11½ years and likes every aspect of her job. She loves to learn new techniques and is currently helping to develop a dessert program for her company. But, most of all, she enjoys the delight of the customers when they pick up their order.

Rebecca Lougheed, Food City, Greeneville, TN. Rebecca has been able to turn her hobby into a career she loves! She started decorating cakes in 2006 and joined the Food City team the following year. Over the years, with the support of her bakery managers, she has become a skilled decorator. In 2011, she won her company’s first annual cake challenge.

There are three phases to the Challenge. On Sunday, June 2, each contestant will decorate enough cakes to fill one multi-tiered, eight-foot bakery case. On Monday, June 3, each contestant will decorate a wedding cake. Tuesday, June 4 is a special “Decorator’s Choice” theme event.

The judges for the event will be: Luke Bender, Manager of Technical Service, Maplehurst Bakeries, LLC, and Jim Caliendo, Dessert Training Specialist, Rich Products Corporation.

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