I am very excited to share with you my experience being a cake judge at the Orange County Fair. I have entered many cake competitions and being asked to be a judge was a huge compliment for me.
I didn't know what to expect or how in the world I would judge cakes being my first time. It was not as stressful as I anticipated and actually a great experience I hope to have again. All the judges for all the different categories were gathered together and given guidelines and rules. We each had an assistant to answer our questions, explain any rules not clear, pretty much help us with anything we needed throughout this experience. But, in the end it was up to each judge to pick the best from each category.
I had my section of cakes to judge and being my first time I decided to just look at each cake then go back and give the awards. It sure is different being on the other side and deciding who gets awards and who doesn't. I took what I have learned from entering all the cake competitions I have and applied it here. It isn't always the best designed cake or the most creative but a combination of it all. You need to look for creativity, what sort of techniques are used and how many, how clean it is, do they follow the theme or guidelines, and overall appearance. So, just because you like a cake idea doesn't mean they necessarily win. I have learned that from entering... it really makes a lot of sense since two cakes could be in a tie for first, but you have to make the decision why one will win over the other.
In the end really everyone is a winner, even if you don't receive a ribbon.
When I first started entering competitions I was very nervous and really wondered if I should have, because there are so many people better than me. But, it really shouldn't matter since you are doing this for you, to share your talent with others doing the same thing, challenging yourself, and learning. It is a huge bonus if you win and it is wonderful to win, but not winning should never stop you from entering.
All the cakes I got to judge were wonderful and what I got out of being on the other side is how everyone can interpret the same thing differently. I never noticed it before when I entered. Everyone might use buttercream but not the same techniques, or everyone might add flower decorations but they will all be different. A big cheers for me being given this experience and to everyone who entered. Keep sharing your talent..
As a sugar person I love to promote sugar art and share with everyone how fun it is...