Sunday, November 28, 2010

only the strong survive

Ever wondered what it takes to judge a cupcake competition?

Well, the sight of Michelle adjudicating one of the design categories (Montreal theme) at last week's Cupcake Camp Montreal 2010 festivities looked something like this:

Michelle & Co. fig. a: nice app

armed with an iPhone with some kind of special cupcake judging app (no joke), Michelle made her way down a long, cupcake-covered table, assessing each and every entry, entering her data into her portable computing device, and trying vainly to avoid being blinded by the veritable barrage of camera flashes that were popping off around her. Rabid fans of " endless banquet"? Hardly. The slim gentleman to Michelle's left was none other than Ricardo Larrivée.

Most of the judges didn't get swarmed the way Ricardo and Chuck Hughes did. But all the judges had to find a way to pace themselves through the tasting of dozens upon dozens of cupcakes. Michelle came home with a truly legendary sugar high, but overall she fared quite well. After all, as a pastry professional, she inhabits a world of sugar, and her tolerance is now remarkably high. A solid meal, a glass of wine, some water, and she came back down to earth relatively gently. Others, whose professions are somewhat less sugar-centric, had a much tougher time. It's not everyone who can binge on 15 or 16 cupcakes in a single afternoon and live to tell.

Congratulations to all the winners in the various taste, design, and theme competitions (including C., who took Best Pro Taste!*). And congratulations to Cupcake Camp Montreal for having raised an astonishing $34,500 (!).

For more on judging cupcakes and Cupcake Camp Montreal more generally, check out Cupcake Camp Montreal's post-camp round-up.


* "I smell a rat! Conflict of interest!," you declare? Yes, Michelle is both a good friend and a colleague of C.'s, and, yes, Michelle was there when C. was announced as the winner, but the system that was used to judge the Pro Taste category was so blind, so thoroughly objective, that Michelle had no idea which cupcake C. had actually made until she came back home and called her with the good news. The same went for all the other categories, as well. Each of the individual judges knew who they'd voted for (obviously), and they learned the names of the winners when they were announced over the P.A. at the end of the afternoon, but they didn't necessarily know if the cupcakes they'd voted for corresponded with the winning entries.

1 comment:

retro sweets said...

I think it would break my heart to judge cupcakes.. They all taste delicious for sure. Cupcakes don't deserve to lose.. But that's just me, the cupcake addict. And now an advocate? Haha. Yikes.. :D