Wake Tech’s Culinary Arts Showcase Returns to Downtown Raleigh
“Sweet Dreams” Make Showcase a Success
RALEIGH, N.C. (April 24, 2012) - If you could wave a magic wand and make your wildest dream come true, what would it be? For Corrinna Jackson, a student at Wake Tech Community College, it would be a journey down the “Sweet Road to Success.” Her tiered cake with a giant cupcake on top took first place in a live Showpiece Challenge at Wake Tech’s annual Culinary Arts Showcase. The Showcase attracted 2,000 people to the Raleigh Convention Center. Four teams squared off to create cakes, sugar, or chocolate confections based on the theme of “Follow Your Dream.” In addition to the showpiece challenge, high school students from Wake, Chatham, Franklin, and Iredell Counties competed in a cake decorating contest. Raven McNulty from Apex High School took first place with “Developing Color,” a camera-themed cake.
The Culinary Arts Showcase is the culmination of one of the largest competitions in the United States sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). The day prior, ACF judges critiqued more than 100 entries in several categories, including cakes, showpieces, pastries and cold food platters. The entries were submitted by baking and culinary students from across North Carolina and professional chefs from four southeastern states. The top three professionals were Chef Fiona McKenzie, instructor at Sandhills Community College, Chef Kelly Bellmore, instructor at Wake Tech, and Chef Todd Richter, pastry chef at Prestonwood Country Club. The top students were Karen Gray, from Wake Tech (first and third place) and Dana McFarland from Johnson and Wales University. The winners all received cash prizes and a “Golden Whisk” award.
In addition to viewing all of the award-winning displays, spectators at the Showcase watched live demonstrations, an ice carving exhibition by Wake Tech students and instructors, and enjoyed food from some of the Triangle’s top restaurants, including the Angus Barn, 18 Seaboard, Mez, and Cantina 18. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Goodness Grows Campaign served up locally-grown delicacies. Hands-on decorating fun for kids and a silent auction of “foodie” favorites rounded out the event.
The Culinary Arts Showcase started as Wake Tech’s Annual Pastry Show in 1994 as a final project for culinary and baking students in the second year of Wake Tech’s associate’s degree program. US Food Service was the title sponsor for the event.
Proceeds benefit the Wake Tech Culinary Arts Fund.