Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jazzin' for Blue Jeans

I was invited to participate in the Parade of Cakes, a new addition to the Capital Area Food Bank's 7th Annual Blue Jeans Ball. The event raises awareness and funds to support the activities of the Food Bank.  With the generous support of area restaurants and businesses the Capital Area Food Bank, and it's small army of volunteers, throws quite a party.
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Capital Area Food Bank. The 30th Anniversary was one of several possible themes for entries in the Parade of Cakes. Another suggested theme was to highlight items from the Food Bank's Most Wanted Donations list which focuses on those non-perishables that contribute to a nutritionally balanced diet. The list also includes other items like common cooking spices as well as toiletries like toothpaste and deodorant.

I was called in as a second stringer after, as I understand it, another participant hand to cancel. So, with about a week to plan and execute a cake design I predictably latched onto the "Most Wanted" theme as in America's Most Wanted . Thinking in that vein, non-perishables sounded enough like The Untouchables and  I had a kind of crime themed design. The final design had some of the non-perishable items posing for mug shots and something about a bank heist.    

I guess I was about half way through production when I realized that I did not want to trivialize or even hint at the idea of robbing the Food Bank, even in jest. Re-design time. I toned down the crime aspect. I even worked in a stick of deodorant as a nod to the toiletries on the Most Wanted list. I thought no one would go all out on toiletries for a cake design.

 I was wrong. Chef Heather Mackey, pastry chef  for the Marriott Wardman  Park Hotel, created a toiletries themed cake that featured a full tier decorated to look like rolls of toilet paper with a spare roll off to the side. This was complimented by edible bars of soap, a gum paste toothbrush and toothpaste, and the top tier was a box of facial tissue.

I was both pleased to see that at least one other entry took a humorous approach and disappointed that I had been out toiletried by another decorator. Let's be honest, how can you not love a toilet paper cake?

I got to meet Chef Mackey and several other culinary masters from the Marriott Wardman Park. Chef Mackey related some amusing incidents from the creation of the toiletries cake, several involving the reactions of co-workers. I didn't have any funny stories about my cake. Even if I did, could they have been any better than stories about a toilet paper cake? Probably not.

Despite my toilet paper cake envy, it was a great event and I met some really cool folks. Kinda hoping I get the chance to do it again.

1 comment:

  1. You may have been a late addition, but you sure did step up and win the prize! Thank you so much for your support and you can count on participating next year!