How lucky am I to have been invited to assist on two back to back episodes of TLC’s ‘Ultimate Cake Off’ show? VERY! While I cannot reveal any of the details, I do have some photos that are safe to share with all of you. I can also say that it was a wonderful, albeit stressful experience. Creating such large cakes is no easy feat. It looks relatively easy on television. Competitors build cakes as tall as 7 feet all in an hour’s time! That’s the magic of television. In reality, it takes four people 9 hours that fly by in the blink of an eye.

One of the best things about being on this show was meeting and interacting with the crew that makes it all happen. From the producers to the production assistants, everyone was friendly, outgoing and fun. I really enjoyed meeting Margaret Braun, one of my cake idols, and Leigh Grode from Cake Divas. There is so much more to these two women than what we see on television. They were so warm and caring, always smiling and encouraging us at every turn, and very down to earth. The new host of the show, George Duran, was funny and endearing as well. He brings with him a fresh and positive vibe to the show. There is great camaraderie among the judges and host, a true pleasure to experience firsthand.

I’ve added a section at the bottom of this post affectionately titled ‘The Men of UCO’. It’s a little nod to the guys behind the scenes who make it all happen. There are many more, but these are a few who we interacted with the most for one reason or another.

I am not sure when the episodes will air, but I will definitely post it here as soon as I know. My sincerest gratitude to the lead competitors who invited me to participate and to the Ultimate Cake Off staff for making us feel so welcome.

Me, Wayne Steinkopf of Swank Cake Design, Jacinda Putnum of Cinda’s Creative Cakes and Chuck Hamilton of Swank Cake Design.

Cinda and I in the Blue Team kitchen.

Hanging out outside the studio.

Inside view of those fabulous windows.

In the evening, the windows are lit from the outside to maintain the ‘daytime look’ of the windows inside the studio.

Ester Siswadi, Jocelyn Jung, Beryl Ann Byrd of Just Fabulous Pastries and me.

We couldn’t help the photo op next to the UCO sign.

Leigh and I. She had me in stiches! I have to say Leigh has great karma. We were graciously treated to trays of goodies from her well known ‘Cake Divas’ bakery. Best chocolate dipped macaroon I have ever eaten in my life. And they ship!

Margaret Braun and I. What a delightful and talented woman. She exudes great warmth.

George and I. He definitely has that Latin charm thing going for him.

Ever wonder what the cameraman really sees?

The Men of UCO‘ is dedicated to a few of the guys we interacted with the most, who made us laugh and who stood out for one reason or another. These photos were taken with their permission, of course.

We probably drove this guy crazy running under his big ‘rig’ all the time. He is quite camera shy, hence the rear view.

This is ‘McDreamy Hair’. What a nice guy. I hope I didn’t embarass him too much by telling him about his new nickname.

The photog. He set my D200 to the correct light settings inside the studio. So good natured. Photogenic, too.

Ah….the ‘front/back’ audio guy. We all enjoyed his sense of humor as he placed our mics in the front and our battery packs in the back. I wonder how many granny panties he sees in his line of work.

This was our team producer on both episodes. He was hilarious, kept us laughing, clapping and he smelled really, really good. I had to remind myself that I am old enough to be his mother. LOL. (Photo courtesy of Beryl Ann Byrd).

This was our coordinator galore. He is a master multi-tasker and a very sweet young man. He has the patience of a saint and then some.

What an extraordinary and unique experience! I am very grateful to Wayne Steinkopf and Beryl Ann Byrd for the opportunity to be a lead assistant on their respective teams. Much love to my fellow assistants, Chuck, Cinda, Jocelyn (my new BFF) and Ester who were a pleasure both to meet and work with. And last but not least, kudos to the amazing cake decorators that make it to the UCO stage. I felt honored to be in their company.