Baltimore area cake decorator Tracey Buchanan - who labored over fondant icing and Styrofoam for more than a dozen hours as part of the Mid-Atlantic Cake Show and Wedding Cake Competition on Saturday - was awarded second place in the decorative cookie category yesterday.
Buchanan entered a foam core wedding cake in the shape of the purse her mother carried on her 1980 wedding day, as well as a St. Patrick's Day cake, the cookie decorated as a jewelry cameo, a three-tiered pale green and ivory cake, and a gingerbread cabin with creeping vines. She was featured in an article yesterday in The Sun.
The contest, held at the Carroll County Agriculture Center in Westminster, drew about 200 participants who created animals, a replica of Noah's Ark and an edible diorama of dogs playing poker, among other fantastic designs.
"There was a lot of stiff competition there," Buchanan said yesterday after a restorative night's sleep. She stayed up most of the night Friday preparing for the event, which is in its second year.
The grand prize winner of the competition was Pennsylvania resident Kim Morrison, a well-known cake decorator who twice has won the Oklahoma cake-decorating contest, which draws sugar artists from across the nation. Morrison's winning cake was four-tiered and incorporated delicate latticework icing, said B. Keith Ryder, director of the Mid-Atlantic show.
Ryder said that sugar artists flock to shows like the one in Westminster in hopes of finding artistic inspiration. "We bring our cameras and take photos of an element from this cake and an element from that cake, and then we make a creation of our own," he said.
Buchanan, a 23-year-old Hampden resident and cake decorator at Fisher's Bakery in Ellicott City, has no immediate plans to enter another contest, she said, but was happy with her weekend success.
"I learned a lot," she said.