Sugar Art Spectacular
"Promise of Love", the 2016 OSSAS Grand Champion wedding cake.
A gathering of some of the world’s top sugar artists demonstrated the power of cake during the prestigious Grand National Wedding Cake Competition and Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show on Oct. 1-2 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Acclaimed cake decorator and author Kerry Vincent, show director of the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show, led a team of cake decorators and volunteers who capped off the event by assembling a 45-foot “Peace Train” to symbolize the power of peace during turbulent times. The train – made of hundreds of pounds of cake – featured zoo animals riding in railcars decorated in bright, floral colors.
“I am proud of the artistry that our team created,” Vincent wrote in an Oct. 5 Facebook post.
On Sunday, Oct. 2, Vincent explained the purpose of the “Peace Train” is to call attention to the important message of peace in a time in which society is gripped by fear and violence.
Sunday was also the day the Grand National Wedding Cake Competition crowned a grand champion: Monica Muñante Legua of Lima, Peru. Her gorgeous artistry of a satin wedding dress cake with a Reticella-style gold lace collar wowed the judges and fit perfectly within this year’s theme: “Mad for Metallics!”
Legua earned a total of $26,500 in cash and $15,611 in products from show sponsors for her multi-tiered cake titled “Promise of Love.”
Legua, who needed a translator throughout the show, traveled from Peru with her showpiece in tow in several pieces. Her route took her from Peru to Miami to Dallas and finally arriving in Tulsa. At one point, the airline officials told Legua that her cake needed to be placed with luggage in the bottom of the plane, but she persisted to negotiate with them using Google Translator to explain that the contents were fragile.
"She came all the way from Peru," Vincent said. "I wonder how she convinced the pilots to let her stow the topper in the cabin?"
The topper of her cake traveled in the pilot’s cabin, but the bottom of the cake arrived broken. Legua had brought two pounds of gumpaste to the show and sculpted the repairs to the layers of dress that look like satin. “I love the way dresses look,” Legua said, explaining the inspiration for the magnificent cake.
The 2016 OSSAS Winners are as follows:
Grand Prize: Monica Muñante Legua, Lima, Peru
First Runner-up: Jennifer Matsubara, Springdale, Arkansas
Second Runner-up: Edith Hall, Hallsville, Missouri
Third Runner-up: Susan Trianos, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Fourth Runner-up: Dawn Parrott, Houston, Texas
More than $210,000 in cash and products was awarded during the show, which covers several categories and skill levels, from amateur to professional sugar artists and cake decorators. And at the end of the awards ceremony, as she does each year, Vincent announced next year’s theme for the annual competition. She explained to the audience of about 200 or more people that she was inspired from a recent trip to New York for the next theme — perfume.
The Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show also featured informative demonstrations from internationally recognized sculptor Karen Portaleo and corporate pastry chef Joshua John Russell.
Russell demonstrated string technique and offered other tips as he created two showpieces, an elegant Halloween wedding cake and a traditional wedding cake with a twist.
Portaleo sculpted the bust of a very playful Witch, “Duck Face Dagmar,” who just wants to photo bomb your selfie. Beginning with the cake and structure, the artist demonstrated filling and carving of larger cakes, along with basic structure.