As I was walking by the bakery at the Byerly’s store in St. Louis Park, MN, I thought I saw a young woman wearing a chef’s hat using sandpaper on cake icing. Was that really what was happening? I walked by again and again. Sure enough, the young lady was sandpapering the icing of a cake. My curiosity got the best of me, and I stopped to speak with the young woman. As I asked about the sandpaper, the young woman grinned; “That is a styrofoam cake, Sister,” she said, and further stated, “I am entering a cake decorating contest and need to practice. The cake I will decorate will actually be made of styrofoam since it may remain in exhibition for about 4 months.” My curiosity satisfied, we began to discuss the upcoming event in which she would compete with other professional cake decorators from the Upper Midwest Bakers Association at the Mall of America.
The Mall of America is hosting the exhibition, “Diana, A Celebration”, from February 4 through June 10. Competition for the cake decorating was held on February 5 in the mall’s rotunda. Two Little Sisters were among the many people who attended and watched the competition. We found Fhoua hard at work and completely concentrated on the task at hand. She did look up once to smile at us.
The contestants were to create the best replica of Princess Diana’s wedding cake. The original cake was 5 tiers, however, there were no good pictures of the original cake, and each contestant had to be very imaginative and skilled in decorating. As we watched the decorating process, our hearts became very heavy since Fhoua was far behind the other contestants; she was on the first tier while the others were rapidly approaching the fourth.
Because of other commitments, we were unable to stay for the judging. A few days later, we saw Fhoua again at Byerly’s where she is the pastry chef. She approached us with a broad smile from ear-to-ear. Fhoua took first place in the contest, and her winning cake is displayed at Mall of America until June 10, 2012.
We are all very proud of you!