Cake baking and decorating has progressed from simple to the extravagant and extraordinary in recent years, leaving hobbyists, culinary students and professionals hungry to learn new and up-to-date techniques. In an effort to teach some of the “wow” techniques often seen on TV to a broader audience, the Deep South Retail Bakers Association (DSRBA) is bringing several nationally known TV and Baking Personalities to Baton Rouge, La., for hand-on classes and demonstrations. Demonstrations will be available to anyone attending the DSRBA Workshop on July 31, 2011 at the Louisiana Culinary Institute, while classes are offered August 1, 2011 in the same location.

“We have a stellar team of presenters this year”, says Felix Sherman, Sr, President of the national Retail Bakers of America (RBA) and owner of Ambrosia Bakery in Baton Rouge. “Our list of presenters include Susan Notter, CEPC, a multiple pastry world champion, Bronwen Weber, whose numerous appearances on Food Network Challenge have made her one of the most recognized cake decorators in the country and Mark Atwood, CD, CMB, whose 1200lb monster (truck) cake on TLCs Ultimate Cake Off made television history.”

Other presenters include Rick Crawford, CMB, who is known for his money saving skills and recently has taken the helm of the RPIA trade organization, and Jennifer Atwood, CD, whose debut on Food Network Challenge will air this month. “The rise of cake shows, such as Food Network Challenge and The Cake Boss, have raised the bar tremendously”, says Charles Feder, owner of Rossmoor Pastries in Signal Hill, Ca. - a bakery that has made cakes for stars like Jack Nicholson and Miley Cyrus. “People used to want a car drawn on a cake, now they want the cake to look like a car. We do everything we can to keep up with the latest techniques, often flying in teachers
from across the country to train our decorators. Deep South is putting on a phenomenal event.”

Sunday’s demo sessions will cover sugar, figure modeling and food chemistry, while Monday’s hands-on classes will offer skills in sugar, figure modeling and butter cream. Both days will also include a session with Rick Crawford, whose knowledge will help bakery owners and those interested in opening their own bakery an edge when operating their business. “Rick has the unique ability to walk in a bakery and have three new ways to improve operations and save money in the first 15 minutes," says Mark Atwood - the two have come up through the ranks of the national Retail Bakers of America together and both served several terms on the board. “Rick can help people avoid some of the mistakes we all have made over the years. How to start a bakery is one of the most commonly asked questions to RBA and Rick's four hour class will offer tips on how to start or reinvigorate your own bakery.”

One hour demos will begin Sunday at 12:30pm and are open to anyone attending the workshop - registration fee is $60 for DSRBA members, $80 for non-members and $10 for culinary students in uniform. All hands-on four-hour classes will begin at 8:00am Monday. Class fees vary from $100 to $150 and include all materials. Online registration is available through and on-site registration will be available for the Sunday workshop and, space permitting, for the Monday classes. Classes are limited to 15-25 students.

Deep South Retail Bakers Association is a regional chapter of the national Retail Bakers of America and serves Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, as well as parts of Florida and Arkansas. Its mission since its inception in 1964 has been to provide continuing education to its members and further networking of bakeries, large and small, and their suppliers. Visit to register and for more information on event and organization.

If you would like further information or schedule an interview, please call Tobias C. Wilhelm at (318) 308-8629 or email