In early May, twelve cake decorators of varying experience levels gathered in Maryland to compete in WEtv’s first ever ‘Wedding Cake Wars‘ competition. I was very fortunate to be invited to participate. I needed an assistant and contacted Minette Rushing of Savannah Custom Cakes in  Savannah, GA. She wasn’t available to attend due to a prior commitment and recommended her top pick for the job, a lovely and talented young woman named Kerry O’Connor. Kerry is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York where she studied under some of the finest pastry chefs in the country, and a very talented cake decorator in her own right! She graciously agreed to come to Maryland and work alongside me in my first cake competition. Last month, Kerry was a lead competitor on an upcoming Food Network Cake Challenge.

With Jason Ellis (one of three judges) and Kerry O'Connor

With Jason Ellis (one of three judges) and Kerry O'Connor

We would not know the theme of the competition until 72 hours prior to the event. Kerry spent 10 days total in Maryland and for most of that time, we were just brain storming, clueless as to what kind of cake we’d end up making. It is rather daunting to come up with a design when you have no idea what the theme is going to be. This was really the most difficult part of the competition. We didn’t know what supplies we’d need, which can be rather concerning since many cake decorating supplies aren’t available locally.

The day of the challenge, we were exhausted and had not slept but more than 5 hours on any given night since Kerry had first arrived. Despite that, we were operating on sheer adrenaline, working very quickly and well together. We had a few slight bumps along the way, but nothing that might not happen normally.   During the two days of the competition, it rained heavily and the humidity level was extremely high.  These are a cake decorators two worst enemies.   All things considered, things went smoothly for us and we were the first team to finish our design before the clock ran out. Considering Kerry and I had only known each other for seven days by the time the competition started, I think we did a great job together and we are both very proud of the work we did.

I really want to thank my family and friends who supported me throughout this process.  Believe me when I tell you the stress level is really high and I must admit, it couldn’t have been fun for any of them.  First and foremost, my husband for encouraging and supporting all my many endeavors, Kerry O’Connor who hopped on a plane to MD having never met me before, my best friends, Sherry Gold, Lidia Miller and Lameeka Edwards for their never ending love and support. Additionally, I really appreciated the opportunity to meet, and get to know, some really talented cake artists who may have been my competitors but who I can now call friends.

With Lameeka Edwards and Sherry Gold (Lidia is taking the photo).

With Lameeka Edwards and Sherry Gold (Lidia is taking the photo).

I can’t give away anything more, but stay tuned to WEtv to watch the outcome of the competition. The show airs tonight on WEtv at 10pm|9c.

Visit WEtv’s Wedding Cake Wars site for additional coverage and photos.