Old-House Expo & Architectural Cake Contest

Old rocks in Bloomington, Indiana

And this year’s winners are…

 

Judges Mark Dollase, Chef Jeffrey Taber, and Yael Ksander hard at work

Judges Mark Dollase, Chef Jeffrey Taber, and Yael Ksander hard at work

After extended deliberations, the judges made their picks.

The award for Best Taste and Texture went to Caroline Clay, Cheryl Munson, and Danielle Bachant-Bell for their delectable maple buttercream-frosted “Investigations around the Smokehouse,” depicting the smallest structure at the Garton Farmstead in Bloomington. Making this cake extra special was the source of the maple syrup used in the frosting; although the judges didn’t know it, the syrup came from the farmstead’s own maple trees, which are tapped each spring by Mike Bell.

The winning smokehouse cake

The winning smokehouse cake

The farmstead team also took the contest’s top award, for Most Accurate Representation. Congratulations to Danielle, Cheryl and Caroline!

The award for All Around Awesomeness in presentation went to Cathy Spiaggia and Duncan Campbell for their “Barn Good Cake,” a sophisticated rosemary olive-oil chocolate chunk creation depicting a log bank barn on Breeden Road in southwestern Monroe County. 

Duncan and Cathy baked an elegant, barely sweet confection that contained 8 cups of olive oil

Duncan and Cathy baked an elegant, barely sweet confection that contained eight cups of olive oil

We’re deeply grateful to all of the bakers, as well as the judges and this year’s private sponsors: Revolution Bike & Bean, Topo’s 403, Monroe Furniture Restoration, Mark Longacre Construction,Golden Hands Construction, Bloomingfoods, Bloom Magazine, and NR Hiller Design, along with our public sponsors, the Monroe County Historic Preservation Board of Review and the City of Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission.

Here are the rest of this year’s entries:

Carol Seaman, "The Rise at Orangeville"

Carol Seaman, “The Rise at Orangeville”

 

Carrol Krause, Monroe County's first courthouse

Carrol Krause, Monroe County’s first courthouse

 

Magda Hiller and Wyatt Hiller Wilson, "Cake of the Singing Winds"

Magda Hiller and Wyatt Hiller Wilson, “Cake of the Singing Winds”

 

The Monroe County History Museum's cemetery committee "cemetery cake"

The Monroe County History Museum’s cemetery committee “cemetery cake”

And special congratulations to Lily Bruce, a freshman at Bloomington High School South, for her depiction of the historic West Baden “colored church,” a Gothic Revival structure wrought in delicious vanilla cake with homemade marshmallow fondant! Unfortunately the tower began to separate from the main structure shortly after the cake was delivered. Some visitors declared that this made Lily’s their favorite cake, since it showed the church in danger of collapse–quite fitting, considering that the actual church is currently on Indiana Landmarks’ Top Ten Most Endangered list.

Lily Bruce's West Baden "colored church" cake

Lily Bruce’s West Baden “colored church” cake

 

Nancy Hiller's "Sweet Remembrance" depicts a traditional carved limestone stump grave marker, this one in the Stout cemetery off of Bloomington's Arlington Road

Nancy Hiller’s “Sweet Remembrance” depicts a traditional carved limestone stump grave marker, this one in the Stout cemetery off of Bloomington’s Arlington Road

 

 

Announcing the judges for 2014

This year we are delighted to have Mark Dollase, Jeffrey Taber, and Yael Ksander as our judges.

Mark Dollase is the Vice President of Preservation Services at the Indiana Landmarks Foundation, the largest statewide nonprofit preservation organization in the country. He was promoted to this position, in which he is responsible for Indiana Landmarks’ eight regional offices, in 2005 after serving as director of several regional offices.

Mark received his B.A. from the University of Nebraska and came to Indiana to attend Ball State University’s College of Architecture, where he completed graduate coursework towards a Master’s degree in historic preservation. His projects have included the rescue of the West Baden Springs Hotel, completion of the Fall Creek Place real estate development in Indianapolis, and restoration of the 1910 Glossbrenner Mansion. He also founded Indiana Modern, a group which focuses on preserving the state’s mid-century modern architecture and design.

Mark serves on numerous boards of community-based organizations. He was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in 2006 to serve on the Indiana Main Street Council, to which which he has been reappointed twice. He is on the board of the Rivoli Center for the Performing Arts, where he champions the restoration of the 1927 theater in Indianapolis, and is past president of the Greater Allisonville Community Council, a coalition of 22 neighborhoods in northeast Indianapolis, where he resides.

Photo credit: hoosierhistorylive.org

Photo credit: hoosierhistorylive.org

Chef Jeffrey Taber chairs the Hospitality Program at Ivy Tech Bloomington. Formally trained at the prestigious Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, Taber previously taught at the Art Institute of Ohio and owned his own bakery from 2007-2009. Taber is a familiar face to readers of Bloomington’s Herald-Times, which publishes Taber’s series of weekly cooking videos.

Photo credit: Ivy Tech College Bloomington News, HeraldTimesOnline.com 2012 http://ivytechbloomington.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/video-how-to-make-chicken-stock/

Photo credit: Ivy Tech College Bloomington News, HeraldTimesOnline.com 2012 http://ivytechbloomington.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/video-how-to-make-chicken-stock/

Yael Ksander hosts music and talk programs on Bloomington’s NPR affiliate, WFIU, where she has worked since 2000. She produces features on artists, writers, and other creative people for WFIU’s Artworks series, writes for A Moment of Indiana History, and co-hosts A Moment of Science,  which reaches a national audience.  Ksander is one of the principal organizers and MC of Bloomington’s annual Trashion Refashion show, a benefit for the Center for Sustainable Living, a 501c3 environmental organization that works to promote sustainable living in the Bloomington community, and Discardia, a retail store that sells items made from recycled materials by local craftspeople. Ksander holds a MFA in painting from Indiana University, an MA in art history from Columbia University, and a BA  from the University of Virginia, where she studied languages and literature.   

Photo credit: Rich Remsberg

Photo credit: Rich Remsberg

A Young Baker to Watch

We were thrilled to have Sara Schwabe enter the 2013 Architectural Cake Contest. Although Sara, a 20-year-old student from Mitchell, Indiana, is an avid baker, this was her first cake contest. We were blown away by her ambitious (and tasty!) rendering of the Taj Mahal.

Sara's rendering of the Taj Mahal

Sara’s rendering of the Taj Mahal in white almond sour cream cake with buttercream frosting

I was so impressed by Sara’s ingenuity that I asked about other examples of her work. Her mother sent the following mouthwatering pictures.

Sara Schwabe 1

Hobbit cake by Sara Schwabe

Hobbit cake by Sara Schwabe

Gingerbread

Sara with her cake post-demolition

Sara with her cake post-demolition

You can see more photos from the event and listen to Yael Ksander’s Artworks segment, which was broadcast on WFIU.

A few photos from the 2012 contest

Cheryl Munson cuts into a breathtaking model of the Paris Dunning House, named for Indiana's governor Paris Dunning

Cheryl Munson cuts into a breathtaking model of the Paris Dunning House, named for Indiana’s ninth governor, Paris Dunning. Dunning was the only person ever to hold every elected seat in state government under the 1816 constitution.

The non-edible Paris Dunning House

Cake contest judges for 2012, from left to right: Tommy Kleckner, Diane Ballard, Director of the Monroe County History Museum; Nicole

Tommy Kleckner (Indiana Landmarks, Western Regional Office Director); Diane Ballard (Monroe County History Center, Director); Dominique Webberhung (BLU Boy Chocolate Cafe and Cakery, pastry chef and COO)

Monroe County's beloved Sophia Travis--County Council member, mother, wife, and player extraordinaire of accordion and harpsichord--beholds for the first time the model of the home she shared with her husband Greg and son Finn. This outrageous confection, complete with edible wallpaper and a harpsichord and chair made of icing, was made by a few of Sophia's dear friends.

Monroe County’s beloved Sophia Travis–County Council member, mother, wife, and player extraordinaire of accordion and harpsichord–beholds for the first time the model of the home she shared with her husband Greg and son Finn. This outrageous confection, complete with edible wallpaper and a harpsichord and chair made of icing, was made by a few of Sophia’s dear friends.

And the winner is…

The 2012 Architectural Cake Contest champion was  Edwardo Rhodes.

Edwardo

Edwardo’s cake was a magnificent representation of Indiana University’s Bryan House.

There was a little tension when Mistress of Ceremonies Cheryl Munson cut into the roof and found an empty attic with a floor that resisted her knife’s edge. Had this baker used plywood? Would he be disqualified for using a material edible only by rats and bacteria? To our great relief, we discovered that the key to this house’s hyper-erect standing was gum paste, a substance previously unknown to most of us.

Congratulations, Dr. Rhodes, on a fabulous creation!

About the contest in 2014

The Third Annual Old-House Expo & Architectural Cake Contest will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 17 2014 in the atrium of Bloomington’s City Hall at 401 N. Morton St.

Showers building

Entries are invited in two categories: Professional Baker and Non-Professional Baker. There is no charge to participate. For more information, see “rules.”

This year’s judges will be Chef Jeffrey Taber, Assistant Professor and Program Chair in Hospitality Administration at Ivy Tech Community College; Yael Ksander, writer and presenter at WFIU, Bloomington’s local NPR affiliate; and Mark Dollase, Vice President of the Indiana Landmarks Foundation.

Bakers, please deliver your cake to the atrium between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. on May 17. The cakes will be displayed for public admiration, and judging will begin at 11 a.m. After the judges have chosen winners in the categories of Best Taste & Texture, Overall Appearance, and Faithfulness of Representation, the cakes will be cut, with cake for all to follow.

Entry forms must be received by noon on Friday, May 9.

 

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