Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Starting the Adventure of Cakes N Pies

Today is the first day I write in this blog. I'm really excited to share with others what I've learned and experienced through cake decorating.
I started decorating almost 8 years ago, as a way to learn how to do it properly and a form of therapy. My youngest son was born with major major medical problems and it was great to get out of the house once a week, until he got too sick to do anything. Thankfully we got through all that and he is now a thriving 7 year old boy who is an avid reader and map searcher.
Decorating has afforded me opportunities that I doubt I would have ever come accross.
I started with a basic class at Suzy's Sweet tooth in Montclair, Calif. and took classes at Jane's Cakes in Montrose, Calif. I joined the California Cake Club and Sweet Arts. My first competition was with the San Diego Cake Club. I also was able to enter at the Los Angeles County Fair. All this was only the beginning in a long line of competitions and fairs.
We moved north of Orlando, Florida in August of 2001. I joined the Confectionery Artists Guild and was able to again compete at the fair and also started attending the annual Mini Classes, where classes specializing in cake decorating were offered. I also joined ICES (International Cake Exploration Societe) and began attending Days of Sharing, where different decorators demonstrate techniques that are helpful and unique.
In November of 2002, I started making gingerbread houses competitively and entered the Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread Competition. I was fortunate enough to place twice in the first three years.
In November 2004, the Food Network happened to be at the competition and on the spot decided to follow myself and two of my friends as we entered the contest. I didn't win the whole thing, but it was an honor to place 4th.
In August 2005 I received an invitation to compete on a Food Network Challenge featuring five amateur gingerbread artists who would compete for $10,000.00 It was a huge honor to be asked to compete. I was up against people who had all placed higher than I had. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget.
In April 2006 I entered the National Pie Championship with my best friend Susan Boyle. She had never made a pie in her life and I had never made a homemade Cherry Pie before in my life. Much to my shock and amazement, my cherry pie won me the title of National Pie Champion, $5000.00 and a whirpool range and microwave.
When I look back now at the meager beginnings of my decorating and baking career I am truly thankful.
I April 2006, just after I won the Pie Championship, which Food Network was there to film, I was hired by Publix as a full time cake decorator. This has been a challenge for me, but a big blessing to be able to help my family out financially. Publix is an incredible company. I am amazed at the benefits I've received and I'm looking forward to a great career with a great company.

3 comments:

stef said...

Glad to see you've started this blog, Valarie! I'm excited to learn from you. Will be adding you to my blogroll at bakingdelights.com

DaMama said...

thanks for the comment about my Gingerbread house--it was the first one I had made. I looked at your pics--and WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cakegrl said...

Excited to see you blogging Valerie! I hope you are more consistant at it than I am. Love all your work and I'm always anxious to see what new things you are up to.