Donna Barley, Publix Super Markets Inc., Katherine Dean, Dorothy Lane Market and Stephanie Dillon, Hy-Vee Inc., have been chosen as the three finalists who will compete in the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association's (IDDBA) 20th annual Cake Decorating Challenge
All told, 63 entrants from 22 supermarket chains vied for one of three cake challenge contestant spots. The trio of decorator-winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to compete at the upcoming Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo in Atlanta, June 7-9.
Here's a closer look at this year's contestants:
- Donna Barley, who hails from Publix, Cape Coral, Fla., is a 30-year decorating veteran with a real passion for cake art. She loves being creative with a wide variety of icings and ingredients, and has also honed her skills in consistency and efficiency by working at a supermarket bakery.
- Katherine Dean, who has worked at Dorothy Lane Market in Dayton, Ohio, for 11 years, is a quick learner who explored a few different areas of the store, including management of the store’s Killer Brownie line before finding her niche in the cake department two years ago.
- Stephanie Dillon of Hy-Vee in Lee’s Summit, Mo., is a life-long artist who began in the bakery with an appetite to learn a new medium. Sixteen years later, she has a deep love for cake decorating and feels that her customers can see her passion in her cakes, which brings them back year after year for her custom creations.
The three phases of IDDBA's Cake Challenge are as follows: On Sunday, June 7, each contestant will decorate enough cakes to fill one multi-tiered, eight-foot bakery case. On Monday, June 8, each contestant will decorate a wedding cake. On Tuesday, June 9, each contestant will decorate three cakes total, with one from each of the following categories: special occasion, show theme and decorator’s choice.
The judges for the event will be Luke Bender, manager of technical service, Maplehurst Bakeries, LLC, and Jim Caliendo, dessert training specialist, Rich Products Corp.