Area baker to make TV appearance

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

SAVONBURG -- One local cake artist will soon be featured in a competition on national television. Rebecca Sutterby, owner of Sugar Creations, Savonburg, will appear on the new TLC competition show, "Ultimate Cake Off," in an episode which will air on TLC at 9 p.m. Oct 12.

In the featured episode, Sutterby and her team compete against two other contestants in a challenge to design a 5-foot tall wedding cake in only nine hours. Adding more difficulty to the challenge, competitors also have to participate in mini-challenges, which gives the winner the ability to make one team sit out for an additional 30 minutes, delaying work on their cake, according to a press release from TLC.

The winner, which TLC won't announce until the episode is televised on Oct. 12, was to receive a $10,000 prize and the winning cake was to be featured as the centerpiece of a wedding reception in Los Angeles, according to the press release.

The Sutterby Team, which consisted of Rebecca Sutterby and three assistants whom she chose, included fellow cake artists Adele Nichols, Eaton, Colo.; Sharon Zambito, New Orleans; and Becky Willard, Girard, Kan.

"I got to choose each of my team members. All three are extremely talented bakers and very good friends of mine," Sutterby said. "I am so glad I chose those three ladies. If I were to do it again, I would definitely still pick them. We had so much fun working together and I would love another opportunity to work with them in the future. We managed to have fun the whole time, and it was a fantastic experience."

Not only did the winning cake have to win the taste of the client and the judges, the winning design also had to feature at least two extreme elements, such as lights, sound, or motion.

"It was really stressful, not only being on camera, but to have only 9 hours to do everything," Sutterby said. "Plus the mini challenges really added to the pressure. Just imagine having to work as fast as you can, continuously for nine hours. That's really what we had to do. You don't even realize until the time clock stops that you haven't stopped to eat or go to the restroom."

Sutterby added, "Normally when I do a wedding, I have advance notice and I can work on it during the week, prior to the wedding. Designing a cake like this in only nine hours, it's a pretty big challenge. I also had the added stress of making sure we had all the tools and supplies we needed, and getting them from Kansas to Hollywood was no easy task. But the best feeling was in the last ten minutes of the challenge, when I could see that we were actually going to finish the cake, that we were actually going to accomplish what we set out to do. That was one of the best moments for me.When I took a step back to look at the cake, it brought tears to my eyes."

Sutterby, a self-taught cake artist, started Sugar Creations in 2002 and designs a wide variety of wedding and special occasion cakes. She began entering timed cake competitions in 2006 and has previously competed in a series on the Food Network. Along with competitions, her cakes have also been featured in Brides magazine, People magazine, a television commercial for Kansas Lottery, and numerous other publications. Photos and examples of some of her creations, menu, and other items can be viewed on her Website, www.sugarcreations.com.

According to the press release, the TLC series is hosted by chef Michael Schulson, owner of Atlantic City's Izakaya. He is joined by judges Margaret Braun, a sugar artist from New York and Leigh Grode, owner of Los Angeles' Cake Divas bakery. The premiere episode of "Ulitmate Cake-Off" will air on TLC at 9 p.m., Monday, August 31.

For more information on TLC's Ultimate Cake Off, visit the series fansite at http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/ultimate-cake-off/ultimate-cake-off.html.