May 9, 2014

When it comes to hands on experiences, the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts really takes the cake. On May 3rd the Escoffier campus in Boulder held a Cinco de Mayo open house, as well as a Cake Boss Challenge for any anyone wanting to compete. Composed primarily of Pastry Arts students and 1 parent, the competitors had 12 minutes to ice and decorate a cake. However just before the competitors were set to begin, the two Pastry Arts Instructors in charge of the event, Chef Dan and Chef Ashlea, announced the challenge aspect of the competition. Not only did the students have to decorate a cake in under 12 minutes, they also had to have 1 layer of ice-cream inside the cake.

It is hard enough to maintain composure under pressure and produce a well decorated cake in less than 12 minutes, but to add melting ice-cream into the mix only makes for a more intense competition. Once the challenge was over, 3 Chef Instructors from Escoffier and 1 audience judge selected 3 competitors to advance to the Cake Boss semi-finals, where those 3 competitors will have 8 minutes to produce another decorated ice-cream cake, but with a different design. By the end of the first round, it was clear that Escoffier has a few new shining stars in their Pastry Arts program and several wonderfully gifted cake decorators. Just like with Food Network competitions, the audience was on their toes during the entire event and was blown away by the precision decorating produced by the competitors. It was an incredibly tough decision for the judges to pick the 3 competitors to move on, but if the semi-finals are anything like the first round, the judges are in for an even tougher decision.

By: Helena Stallings, Culinary Arts Student