The winner of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association’s 15th Annual Cake Decorating Challenge is Rebecca Woodard, Harp’s Food Stores Inc., Springdale, AR. The event was held at the Dairy-Deli-Bake 2010 seminar and expo in Houston, TX, June 6-8.
Second place went to Tina Lofthus, Town & Country Markets Inc., Bainbridge Island, WA; the third place winner was Sara Vanderheyden, Hy-Vee Inc., Ames, IA.

There were three phases to the Challenge. On Sunday, each contestant decorated enough cakes to fill one multi-tiered, eight-foot bakery case. On Monday, each contestant decorated a wedding cake. On Tuesday, each contestant decorated three cakes of their choosing, one from each category: special occasion; theme/event; and decorator’s interpretation of the IDDBA’s Dairy-Deli-Bake ’10 Texas show theme.

IDDBA Executive Director Carol Christison had this to say about the Cake Challenge contestants:
“Once again three supermarket cake decorators were able to demonstrate grace under extreme pressure. Not even the Texas heat could melt their enthusiasm for cake decorating and showcasing the best that our industry has to offer. Our event really tests their skills because everything is done with a temporary kitchen, in a convention center, under less than ideal temperatures, and in front of thousands of inquisitive people—for three straight days! The decorators use only real product and must work under the judges’ watchful supervision and rules. These extremely talented decorators are passionate about their art and raised the bar for excellence. Their energy and enthusiasm was contagious and created a showcase event for their wonderful skills! Not only are they in a contest that’s being judged, but they’re answering questions from attendees and having their every step photographed. They are the epitome of grace under pressure.”

 Judges for the contest were Luke Bender, Maplehurst Bakeries, LLC and Jim Caliendo, Rich Products Corporation. Ray Lippert, Bakery Crafts, Pam Pelzel, Bakery Crafts, and Elizabeth Riggs, Bakery Crafts, who were on site to support the contestants and provide equipment. Bakery Crafts also provided cake decorating accessories, tips, equipment and support. H.C. Brill Company, Inc., Enjay Converters Ltd., Flavor Right Foods Group, Lawrence Foods, Inc., Maplehurst Bakeries, LLC, and Rich Products Corporation provided product for the event.