Giant cake cooks up festival fever

Giant cake cooks up festival fever

COMPETITIONS to decide Cambodia’s best coffee maker, wedding cake decorator and hotel housekeeper will be part of celebrations at the nation’s first international food and hotel exhibition next month.

And the country’s biggest cake will also be unveiled at Camfood and Camhotel 2010, which runs from October 21-23 at Diamond Island Centre, Diamond island, Phnom Penh.

Ruth Larwill from Bloom Cakes and Cafe in Phnom Penh is in charge of making the giant cake, which will be 2.2 metres high and 1.1 metres in diameter.

Decorated with about 1,000 lotus blooms and leaves, the decorations would all be edible and take some time to carve, she said.

“We’ll need to spend about 1,000 hours to make the cake and place all the decorations. Everything on the cake can be eaten, even though it looks as if they are real leaves, lotus flowers and roots.”

A team of about 22 pastry chefs would work on the giant cake, she said.

Bakers and pastry chefs would be invited to take part in Cambodia’s first competition to decorate a wedding cake during the exhibition, said Larwill.

Candidates must bring their own ingredients, mixing tools and cleaning tools, and will be given two and a half hours to decorate one cake suitable for a wedding.

Bloom Cakes and Cafe will also run a demonstration of cake baking during the food festival. The cafe is committed to fair trade and the training of vulnerable young people.

Those interested in competing should email [email protected].

Another first is the country’s inaugural contest for baristas, to find Cambodia’s best coffee maker.

“Making coffee by hand is an unforgettable tradition,” said Canadian international barista trainer and committee member Nat Paolone. “Machines are just a tool for facilitating the work and saving time. What’s important is the method used to get a delicious and good quality cup of coffee.”

Each competitor will have 15 minutes to make four espresso, four cappuccino and four signature drinks, he said.

Paolone hopes the competition will throw up a competitor worthy to step up to the plate at the World Barista Competition, which has been running since 1990. It’s open to people who have been working in the coffee industry for at least six months.

First prize is a trophy and US$400, with second prize $200 and third place wins $100. So far 15 candidates have signed up, he said.

Teams from hotels will also compete for the title of best housekeeper during Camfood & Camhotel. They’ll have to make up a bed and table setting within a certain time, using their own materials to produce a creative design.

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