Spend, spend spend at Cake International
Getting up at 4am, setting the satnav to Birmingham and obsessively trawling sugarcraft websites planning what to see.. It can mean only one thing, CAKE INTERNATIONAL !!!
Cake International is the biggest sugarcraft show on the planet and I was very excited that this year it fell on a day off from my day job. Even more excited that Evil Cake Genius were exhibiting, an American company whose products I covet but are only of very limited availability in the UK. After a couple of pitstops for overpriced motorway Starbucks I got to the NEC at the perfect time to get to the front of the queue and make sure I was one of the first people to get to the ECG stand... determined to get the mantilla stencil I've had my eye on. This was so successful I got to have a play in their first demo of the day with their fantastic new mesh stencil.
After spending far too much on their stand it was time to look round the rest of the exhibition. The skills of the people whose cakes were on display are just breathtaking, particularly from the Chinese and Japanese teams.
My favourite cake of the day turned out to be from a decorator that I follow on facebook and it was fantastic to see she had been awarded a gold. I came over a bit fangirl on meeting Nicholas Lodge at the Katy Sue stand - his seminal work on the subject was the first sugarcraft book I bought at catering college in 1995 doing my City & Guilds.
After a bit of retail therapy I headed over to the Squire's Kitchen live theatre to watch the incredible Carlos Liscetti teaching figure modelling - it was standing room only but I luckily got a seat and 2 minutes later was deep in cake chatter with the lady next to me. Even if you've come alone, you'll not be short of conversation at CI ! Carlos was followed by the very talented Natasha Collins of Nevie-Pie Cakes demonstrating her painted cakes, a great lesson as I'd recently bought her set of paints.
The next couple of hours was a rush of spending, as there is just so much to buy. Robert Haynes was in action demonstrating his lifelike rose cutters and moulds and I met another cake hero, Jacqueline Butler of Petalsweet Cakes in San Diego. Eventually though you just have to stop spending and head off home with your good intentions to enter at least one of the competition classes next year...
Cake International 2018 will be at the NEC Birmingham 2018