That Takes the Cake
This year, I attended That Takes the Cake for the first time, a show organized by Capital Confectioners in Austin, Texas. Kyla Myers, Jennifer Bartos and their team faced quite the last minute hectic change when the original venue was sold and they had to scramble to find a new one. The show took place at the Highland Mall, which solved the parking dilemma of the previous year. It was actually easier to hear people talk when inside little stores than in a large room where you have to shout over others, as is typical of other shows.
Kyla Myers joined Capital Confectioners with the mission of better organizing the yearly show. Her criticism of a previous show didn’t make for the ideal reception to the group, but her hard work has paid off and helped make That Takes the Cake a very successful show since she joined.
Rather than fly into Austin, I landed in Houston where my pal, Dawn Parrott, picked me up and I spent the night at her house. I’m not the best company in the car, especially after waking up at 3 am, but I can say I was fascinated by all the bridges over the highways in Texas.
Our first stop in Austin was at Make it Sweet where we stopped to pick up supplies for Dawn’s class. It just so happens we popped in while Karen Portaleo was teaching students to create her Lady of the Lake Cake alongside assistant Sarah Myers. The entire class helped to create the masterpiece which became the display cake at the show the next day.
Evenings out after a show day are equally memorable. I had only Just met Lizzo Marek for a brief moment, long enough to see her masterpiece that won best of show on Sunday, but joined her surprise baby shower party that evening at Trudy’s. We were too large a crowd to be seated indoors. It was a windy evening outside and Mike Galpern had to pull me out of the deck. (My heels kept getting caught in between the boards). But, I have to say my Portobello fajitas were darn good.
The second night, many of us wanted to eat close by so we dined at the hotel restaurant. Dinner started out with just Anastasia Ward and Dawn Parrott, but as time passed, more cake decorators came to dine and the party expanded.
The show drew an impressive line-up of instructors including Karen Portaleo, Colette Peters, Pat Jacoby, Nicholas Lodge, Dawn Parrott, Avalon Yarnes, Ruth Rickey, Sidney Galpern, Wayne Steinkopf and more. The classes were held inside the stores flanked by a corridor lined up and down with cake entries and raffle prizes.
Sunday afternoon, a few instructors offered live demonstrations. The award ceremony followed and concluded the show.
It was a great pleasure meeting new faces I’ve spoken to online and never met before like Kyla Myers and Dena Collins. I look forward to attending the show next year and enjoying Austin's warm weather in February.
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