R.B.A. baking competition to get fresh look

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Retail Bakers Association is making changes to its 13th Annual Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Decorating Competition, including revamping the presentation area on the show floor and broadening the competition field to include non-R.B.A. members.

The event, which will take place at the 2013 International Baking Industry Expo (I.B.I.E.) scheduled for Oct. 6-9 in Las Vegas, will feature 12 of the top professional cake decorators in the United States in a challenge designed to measure imagination, artistry and skill.

This year’s event will receive a bigger spotlight at I.B.I.E., thanks to a revamped presentation on the show floor designed to elevate competitors and their creations and provide them with a better opportunity to show off their talents.

Another change for 2013 opens the competition to a wider field of professional decorators. Unlike past years, when entry was limited to members of the R.B.A., the upcoming contest will give non-R.B.A. members the opportunity to participate, provided they are working full- or part-time in a cake/cupcake shop, retail or supermarket bakery and have at least two years of decorating experience.

Contestants may enter this year’s competition in one of two ways. R.B.A. members may compete in a local, state or regional R.B.A. sponsored contest. If no contest is available in their area — or the contestant is not an R.B.A. member — they may submit a portfolio for consideration on-line at www.IBIE2013.com. Application by portfolio must be received by June 1 and should include two images from each of the five competition categories: wedding cake, rolled fondant, sculpted, creative design and floral design.

The 12 finalists will consist of regional winners and top portfolio entries, and they will compete in all five categories. Cake, icing and fondant will be provided on site, but contestants must bring their own tools and specialty items. There is no limitation on the use of molds, impression mats and fondants rollers, which may be used in all five categories.

The highest scoring individual, as determined by a panel of judges, will be awarded the Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Trophy. Gold, silver and bronze medals, along with cash prizes, will be awarded for the highest three scores in each category. All contestants will be provided with four nights lodging at one of the I.B.I.E.’s host hotels.

The competition is sponsored by General Mills, Inc., Bakery Crafts, Chefmaster, DecoPac and Pfeil & Holing.
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