Honestly, asking for money is rather challenging for me. It’s one of those events that always makes me feel uncomfortable in knowing I am unable to provide for myself. However, this request is not for me. This request is for our team, for our sugar community and for our country.
My personal path to this moment is one I take care in remembering. During a year long sabbatical from commercial kitchens while exploring my own company concept, I learned about the Federation Internazionale Pasticceria Gelateria Cioccolateria (aka International Federation of Pastry Ice Cream and Chocolate) from my instructor, Kathleen Lange. The FIPGC was new to me, but she explained, with great enthusiasm, about their bi-annual cake competition and that this year, 2018, they were hosting three separate qualifying rounds throughout the country. This of course planted a seed in my competitor mind and I felt this unbelievable pull to compete. So I did. I competed as a master in foreign technique, which was still foreign to me, but due to winning best of show the last time I competed at the San Diego Cake Show, I was required to compete at that level. Overall, my lovely cake placed well, except it placed second for the FIPGC round. It looked like my chance to compete in Italy was already over. Or so I thought.
A couple months later the contestant ahead of me was unable to compete and I was bumped up and thrown into the skillet with two of our countries greatest decorators, Liz Marek and Benny Rivera. I immediately called myself the under puppy because that is exactly how I felt in comparison to their greatness. This final round consisted of a tasting cake at the Sugar Show in Atlanta. Though I won best tasting cake, I placed second runner up. Yet again, my idea of competing in Italy was off. But I couldn’t be sad. Liz earned that spot beautifully and I was just honored to have been there!
Well, the week I returned home from the competition my Sailor and I were moved to a new town, in a new state. Being a military wife is not always easy but it is always worth it. I spent the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 settling us into military housing while he was on ship. I knew I wanted a new job in my area to help me become acquainted with the town and the cooking culture. Well, that was short lived because as I zeroed in to what I hoped would be a new job I received another phone call…
Kathleen Lange called with unbelievable news. Without exaggeration, my heart stopped and my breath froze. With both competitors ahead of me having to withdrawal, the fate of Team USA rested on me. At some point I formally said yes, but I don’t remember that clearly because my brain was a fog. I was getting my chance to compete in Italy on behalf of our entire country of cake decorators, most of whom are probably more worthy and talented than I am. Yet, the universe works in funny ways so I picked myself up and over the last week have been getting back into competition mode, no easy feat for a competition of this magnitude!
So, why on earth a Go Fund Me for a cake competition? Well, this competition is the OLYMPICS of cake decorating and with it, there are a lot of moving parts! First there is the travel and boarding of the team and myself who will probably be in Italy for at least a good 10 days. There is the shipping of the cakes, equipment and supplies. Then there are all the ingredients needed to make said cake and practice the production side of the competition. See, this is a two day competition with live, timed and judged, decorating and assembly of the tasting cakes. There’s the “how it was made” book that must be published ahead of time, complete with step by step pictures and descriptions. And so much more I can’t even begin to imagine! All of this rests upon my shoulders which are not working until after the competition so that I can represent our Country and our Industry 110%.
With that being said, thank you for reading and for considering contributing. I respect that our country is going through a difficult time and is greatly divided between so many different lines. I understand this. However, I also understand that we can rise above our divisions and our troubles and come together to support, financially and emotionally, the wonderful challenge that Team USA has ahead of it. We as Americans love the story of an under (dog) puppy and for that I am certain your support will help raise us to bring home the Gold! Let us rejoice in the fact that we are American and we always put our best foot forward, no matter the challenge ahead of us.