TWENTY contestants armed with fancy tools, pastry brushes and colourful decorations gathered at the Tropicana City Mall for a cake design challenge to showcase their cake artistry talents.
The contest, the second Kuali Cake Decorating Challenge, surprisingly, saw the men rising up to the challenge beating the fairer sex as they grabbed the top prizes in both the Open and Beginners categories.
For you: Joey Chan of KitchenAid presenting the prize to Ng.
The Kuali Cake Decorating Challenge, which is a contest organised by The Star’s food portal, was a test of how well participants could decorate a seven-inch dummy cake in a one and half hour crunch test.
Although the participants were allowed to make the replica of a figurine that had to be incorporated in their design at home, they were required to complete their creations using materials that they were only given on the day of the event.
According to Kuali portal head Yuhalini Poopalasingam, the contest drew 90 entrants, double the number from last year’s. “Selecting the finalists was no easy task,” said Yuhalini.
The 90 entrants list had to be whittled down to 20; 10 for the Open category and 10 for beginners, and they had to showcase their talents live in front of an audience.
Detailed:Pusphaworking on hercreation
This year’s judges were Chef Guillaume Lejeune from the Academy of Pastry Arts, Liew Man Kwan from Passionate Cakes, Malaysian Cake Decorator’s Club founder Joanne Fam and PME trainer and instructor Calvin Mark Ng.
Four men made the cut to the final. One of them, Ng Chang Hang, emerged winner in the Open category, while Muhammad Farid took home top honours for the Beginners category.
Zam Akmal and Jeeva rounded up a good day for the men as both won consolation prizes of dining and shopping vouchers for the Open category.
Ng who had to make a sports themed cake, created a two-tier cake, the base of which had tiles representing the various Olympic sports, while the second tier resembled a running track decorated with medals.
The cake was then topped off with a gold cup, a footballer figurine and an Olympic torch placed on top of half a football.
The design, he said, was tough for him as he was not a sports fan.
“I started work a few days before the event but I began working on the footballer figurine much earlier. Everything was prepared at home and I brought it here for painting,
The Beginners category champ Muhammad impressed the judges with his creative sea world themed cake, the theme for this category, replete with a wrecked ship, crawling octopus, shark and a dolphin.
However, what was amazing that despite his obvious talent in the field, Muhammad, a Pastry Art Academy student, said he only joined this creative field on the behest of his mother.
“With my father’s passing, I had insufficient funds to pursue my interests, and my mother convinced me to take up pastry art.
“I am more interested in game design and music.” he said.
While Muhammad said he was unsure if he would join another cake challenge, others benefited from entering the challenge again.
Both Khoo Li Ying and Pushpa Natarajan who were placed second and third in the Open category respectively won trophies, a Triax infrared cooker, vouchers and various pastry tools, had participated in the inaugural Kuali Cake Decorating Challenge last year.
Pharmacist Khoo created an Olympic themed cake which had two mascots holding up the five Olympic rings in front of a torch.
Pushpa, an owner of a cake business, said she liked the challenge as she believed “there’s no other cake decorating competition like it in the Klang Valley.”
She impressed judges with her ability to improvise and cover over her mistakes effectively to showpiece an elaborate cake topped with a gold trophy and balls of sorts — soccer, bowling, and baseball.
While experience paid off for some contestants, others were lucky the first time out.
“This is my first time entering any contest so I am very happy,” said Haslina Che Omar, the second prize winner in the Beginners category.
Chua Pei Chen, the third place winner in the Beginners category said she had joined the challenge with no expectations of winning except to gain more experience.
Equally noteworthy were the consolation prize winners Veronica Tanuja David, Low Hong Teng and Tiara (Beginners) and Eunice Peh (Open) who won shopping and dining vouchers.
The challenge which took place on May 26 was sponsored by Baker’s Choice, Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia, Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur, Kitchen Aid, West Metric Sdn Bhd, Pastry Pro, Americolors, Silikomart, Triax, Pantry Magic, MPH Distributors, Moms Food & Bakery Ingredients Enterprise and House of Ingredients.
Besides the challenge, there was also a cake decorating demo conducted by Chef David Au Yong Yung Yee, pastry chef at the Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur.
For more pictures, go to facebook.com/StarKuali
For watch the video, go to Cake Decorating Challenge 2012