Childhood Memories Make For an Unforgettable Pastry Show

April 21st, 2010


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Cake Challenge 1st place winner detail
Cake Challenge 2nd place winner
Cake Challenge 3rd place and Peoples Choice award
Cake Challenge draws a crowd
Cake Challenge judging
Cake Challenge - finishing touches
Cake Challenge - looks like fun!

RALEIGH, N.C. (April 13, 2010) - Vacations at the beach, old movies, and Kermit the Frog were some of the "Childhood Memories" on display tonight at the Raleigh Convention Center. Nearly 2,000 people attended Wake Tech's Annual Pastry Show and Culinary Salon. The event brings together culinary students and professional chefs from across North Carolina to compete for medals and cash prizes. Sponsors included US Food Service, Credit Suisse, and some of the Triangle's top restaurants and caterers.

The highlight of the show was a live, two-hour cake decorating challenge in which six two-person teams designed cakes with the theme of "Childhood Memories." Jennifer Nichols and Tracy Lurey, professional bakers from Burlington, won first place with a cake showing scenes from their favorite family holidays. Second place went to Susan Hearns and Stephanie Charns, two students at Alamance Community College; their cake featured a photo album and old-fashioned records. Third place - and the People's Choice Award - went to Courtney and Jill Leckey, identical twin sisters who created a colorful Kermit cake. The sisters have their own business, and Courtney also works as a baking instructor at Wake Tech. Every team took home a gift of baking supplies, courtesy of US Food Service, and the winning teams received cash awards. The cakes were auctioned off at the end of the competition, with proceeds going to the Wake Tech Culinary Arts Fund.

In the Pastry & Cold Food Salon, judges from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) selected award-winners in three categories: Cold Foods, Pastries and Showpieces. Wake Tech students Corinna Jackson and Karen Gray took first and second place, respectively. Third place went to Elise Allen from Johnson & Wales. Contestants were judged using the official ACF point scale. The winners received gold, silver and bronze medals, along with cash prizes for the top three.

This year, for the first time, the show featured ice carvings created by Wake Tech students and instructors. Local restaurants, including Angus Barn and 42nd Street Oyster Bar, as well as the Department of Agriculture's Goodness Grows NC campaign and Centerplate catering, offered hors d'oeuvres and food samples.

The Annual Pastry Show, first held in 1994, culminates months of instruction in the art and science of baking for culinary students in the second year of the associate's degree program. Wake Tech offers Wake County's only full culinary program accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).

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