Imagine a Las Vegas exhibit hall filled with cake decorators competing for 12 hours over a three day period, creating decorated cakes in five categories: Floral Cakes, Wedding Cake, Fondant Cakes, Custom Design Cakes and Sculpted Cakes.Twelve contestants competed head-to-head for the coveted Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus championship title and $14,000 in cash prizes. The highest scoring individual, as determined by a panel of professional judges, was awarded the coveted Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Trophy, sponsored by General Mills. Representing the Ohio Bakers Association from Ele Cake Company in West Carrollton,Karen Thomson was today crowned the Grand Champion, placing first in Wedding Cakes, Custom Designs, Fondant Cakes and Sculpted Cakes. She placed second in Floral Cakes.
The $102 billion baking industry held its largest North American gathering, the 2013 International Baking Industry Exposition, this week in Las Vegas. IBIE is held every three years., and this year covered more than 500,000 square feet in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Attendees included wholesale and retail bakers, tortilla producers, food-service professionals and in-store bakeries. Bakers, product wholesalers and retailers directly or indirectly employ about 707,000 Americans.