Tuesday, August 9, 2011

ICES 2011 Charlotte - Celebrity Edition

This weekend we didn't have any cakes on the books so Chaddy and I packed an overnight bag and jaunted off to Charlotte, NC for ICES 2011.  Even though we had to get up at 4:00 (that's frikkin AM) to get there for the opening, there was SO much going on that we didn't stop until after the vendor room closed at 5:00.

This place was filled to the brim with cake celebrities!  I certainly knocked several people off my "Cake Celebrity Bucket List" (cake people I MUST meet before I die!).  As much as Chaddy stays behind the scenes, he keeps up with all the cake stars (and reads your blogs too).  We had been at the show about 15 minutes and I was talking to a lady about a new airbrush when I hear Chaddy saying "Holy crap, YOU'RE Debbie Goard!  I'm Chad White  I LOVE your cakes!!". By the time I got over there they were deep in conversation about sculpting and pound cakes.  Chad pulled me in saying, "Honey, this is Debbie Goard from 'Debbie Does Cakes'".  She was super sweet and we talked for quite a while.  She even gave me some great advice on airbrushes!

Me and Debbie Goard of Debbie Does Cakes
We turn on the next isle and I see the Fondarific Booth in the distance.  In the booth I see Joshua John Russell and Tracy Quisenberry from Icing Smiles.  We have been big supporters of Icing Smiles since they began so I had to introduce myself.  Amazingly enough, she remembered us right off and thanked us for our help during their Pepsi Refresh Grant campaign.  We talked a while about how their organization has grown and some of the hurdles they have overcome.

Me and Tracy Quisenberry of Icing Smiles
Just a few feet down and I see Mike McCarey's booth.  Inside the booth?  None other than Mike McCarey and Lauren Kitchens!!  I spoke to Mike for a while and told him how modeling chocolate had changed my life! - His response: "Well, then I did my job!"  I told him how excited I was to be taking his Big Bird class in October and then Lauren walked up and joined the conversation.  She was SO nice in person (as is Mike) and told me she would be back in Atlanta in April to teach classes.  I do believe I'll be signing up!!

Me & Lauren Kitchens of Fancy Cakes by Lauren

Karen Portaleo from Highland Bakery, Looking beautiful in red

I'll have to admit that when I spotted Kerry Vincent that I actually gasped a little.  Chad snapped this picture before we actually made it to her booth (he's always scouting ahead) but when we got to her someone had just brought her a salad.  She was trying desperately to eat, but everyone kept stopping her and introducing themselves and asking for photos and autographs.  She was super kind and never gave off any semblance of being mad or put off because of it.  A class-act all the way.  I decided I would move on and try to allow her to eat ad stop back later.  Unfortunately, I didn't make it back.

Hall of Fame Sugar Artist Kerry Vincent

Mary Moy was ALL over that convention.  I didn't get to met her because she was always on the move, constantly running around or doing demos.  I can only wish I had her energy!  Here she is doing a pulled sugar demo - so talented!

Mary Moy from Patisserie 46

I have seen Mike Elder on it seems like a dozen of the TLC's Ultimate Cake Off, always in a challenge.  So we visit the cake room and in the back corner they were having a cake challenge, and there's Mike... going at it!  We later saw him again sculpting a car cake (below).  He had drawn a HUGE crowd - that's showmanship!

Mike Elder from Black Sheep Custom Cakes

When I first spotted Norm he was pointing someone in the right direction of a booth.  I had to introduce myself.  He was such a nice man, he's exactly the guy you know and love from The Food Network Challenges.

Me & Norman Davis of The Sweet Life
Chaddy and Zane Beg of The Sweet Life

We walked right around the corner and ran into none other than Norm's Challenge partner, Zane Beg.  He and Chaddy hit it off and talked for several minutes.  Zane was awesome, just super nice, with the cutest smile!

Sharon Zambito of SugarEd Productions

All day long, Ashley Vicos was running around in the hugest pinky/purpley glittered high heels.  If I walked in those for more than an hour I would be in the Emergency Room.  But not Sweet Ashley; this picture was taken right before the vendor room closed and she was still going strong.  When Chaddy walked up to her he said, "Wow, you're a tall drink of water!"  Not his best pick-up line, thank goodness!

Chaddy & Ashley Vicos of Sweet Ashley's & "Have Cake, Will Travel"
And I saw so many more cake celebs that I didn't get pictures of!  Marina Sousa, Jason Ellis, Dana Herbert, Jay Qualls,  and Edna de la Cruz, just to name a few.  Rumor was that Lindsey Sinatra and Colette Peters were there also, but sadly I didn't see them! :(

And I haven't even talked about The Cake Room yet!  OK, how about you stop back in on Friday and we'll look at some awesome cakes from ICES 2011?


  1. Karen's style is just awesome and I love Norm. I took his class at NCACS and like you said the same person you see on tv is him all the way. Maybe one year I'll make it to an
    ICES Convention.

  2. How fun, I can't wait for you to share some pictures of the cakes. Hopefully one day they can have the convention in NY so I can come.

  3. too cool! thanks so much for sharing! looked like a wonderful time.

  4. I was there too and I saw so many people as well, amazing how many people were there and of course I missed a bunch of others too! Charlotte is my home town so I was super excited to go and be apart of my FIRST ICES Convention!! Can't wait for Mobile, Alabama 2016! We'll see if I can make it to the others. Can't wait to see your cake room pictures, and if you got a picture of my cake! :-)


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