MADISON, Wis. -- The International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) here has selected three cake decorators to compete in its third annual cake-decorating challenge, at the IDDBA Dairy-Deli-Bake '98, June 14 to 16, in Philadelphia.
The three contestants, chosen from 64 entrants, are Elizabeth Caccia, from a Dierberg's unit in Maryland Heights, Mo.; Vivian Freeman, from a Cherokee Sunfresh Supermarket, Overland Park, Kan.; and Diane Moore, from a Publix store in Lakeland, Fla.
"We're extremely pleased with the response this year. There's been a lot of involvement by big chains," said Carol Christison, executive director of IDDBA.
"And we've had multiple entries from the same chains, which indicates that they've held internal contests," Christison added. "That's what we want. It helps them sell cakes."
The IDDBA executive said the quality of the presentations was excellent, which in her opinion is evidence that the in-store bakery retailers are taking the contest seriously.
"For example, the number of photos the contestants submitted showed they're really competitve. And they were very creative, too. One contestant had her photos arranged in a 'treasure chest.' They're putting together their presentations like it's an art form. It was a challenge to choose three finalists. We wish they could all be there competing at the show," she said.
The high quality of the entries, and the great number of photos submitted along with them, also facilitated the process of judging, Christison said.
"We were able to see if their borders were consistent, and how many external accent pieces they used. And the number of photographs showed they do a large variety of styles."
The three finalists are getting an all-expense-paid trips to Philadelphia to attend the three-day IDDBA event, where they will compete daily at the ShowPlace area of the IDDBA show floor.
Each finalist will be required to decorate enough cakes to fill an 8-foot display case, and must also arrange the display of those cakes in the case. The contestants are also required to create a wedding cake and a theme cake.
"Their skills have to run the gamut," Christison said. "It's important that they can do a variety of styles, from wedding cakes to cup cakes to production-line techniques. And they need to be able to work with different types of icings, such as ganache and rolled icing."