On November 4, three of Buffalo’s cupcake gurus will face off in the Artisan Kitchens and Baths kitchen showroom to see who will take home the title in Feed Your Soul’s latest baking and decorating competition: The Nickel City Cupcake Challenge.
“In Buffalo, cupcakes have really taken off in the last few years,” said Christa Glennie Seychew, owner of Feed Your Soul. “There are so many independent bakeries who are choosing to specialize in this sweet treat that we thought it would be fun to showcase them.”
Justina Adams of The Buffalo Cakery, Genevieve Perryman of Cupcake Orchard, and Kelly Audette of Fairy Cakes Cupcakery will compete in two separate heats before a panel of judges and a live audience. In the first, they will present the judges with their signature cupcake. In the second, they will be required to bake and decorate a cupcake using a secret ingredient. The competitors will be judged on the taste, creativity, and texture of their sweet treats, as well as their teamwork, utilization of workspace, overall skills and technique.
Judging the competition will be Brian Donaghy, chocolatier, pastry chef and two-time competitor on Food Network’s “Cake Challenge.” Joining him will be Alli Suriani of BuffaloEats.org and a third judge who is yet to be determined. “The judges are different at every show we do, for the most part,” said Seychew. “We try to vary the panel to ensure that we select people with solid technical knowledge, a variety of backgrounds, and bright personalities. This allows our challengers to feel confident that they are being judged by people who know what they are talking about, but it also helps us to educate and entertain the audience during some of the more nerve-wracking moments of the show.”
The competitors were chosen from a pool of applications, with skill and passion for the local food movement proving to be the winning attributes. “We look at the diversity of the applicants and their skill set and try to pick challengers that will not only provide a varied and exciting experience for our audience, but also have a great attitude and a desire to be an integral part of Buffalo’s evolving food scene,” Seychew said. ”Passion gets us every time.”
Justina Adams is a native of Angola, NY who moved to North Carolina and ran a cake business from home. She returned home to Buffalo in April of 2012 and opened The Buffalo Cakery in early June. “I used to work in a grocery store bakery where everything was frozen or from a tub, so I wanted to open a place from then on where my customers would always know that they would get fresh from scratch desserts, especially cakes,” Adams said. “Cake is my passion, and I love to use it as a therapeutic artistic outlet. I’m truly thrilled every day to be living my dream! I entered Nickel City Cupcake Challenge to show everyone what we can do here. We put every imaginable amount of passion and love into our baked goods.”
Kelly Audette is the co-owner of Fairy Cakes Cupcakery, located on Parkside across from the Buffalo Zoo. “I have had a love of baking my entire life. I grew up in a family that made everything from scratch,” Audette said. “I started Fairy Cakes Cupcakery almost six years ago with the intent of sharing my family’s delicious recipes with everyone. Making everything from scratch may take a little extra time, but the end result is worth it! The greatest compliment I get is when someone says, ‘This tastes like cake my grandma or mom used to bake.’ I knew I wanted to compete in Nickel City Chef ‘s first Cupcake Challenge because we have so much fun creating the ever-changing menu at Fairy Cakes. We love to invent new cupcake flavors like Buffalo wing, Flying Bison Pumpkin Octoberfest, Cookie dough and so many others. I am very flattered to have been picked to compete and show everyone what Fairy Cakes can do.”
Tickets to the show are $29 and can be purchase online by following this link. The event will take place at Artisan Kitchens and Baths upstairs kitchen showroom, located at 200 Amherst Street. Doors will open at 1 p.m. and the show will kick off at 1:30 p.m. In addition to the competitors’ cupcake creations, audience members can sample Lake Effect Ice Cream and snacks prepared by Adam Goetz of Sample. For more information, visit www.eatlocalbuffalo.com.