We’re discussing The Americas Cake & Sugarcraft Fair with Satin Ice’s Kevin O’Reilly.
Kevin O’Reilly, founder of Satin Fine Foods, has travelled the globe making sweet friends and sharing Satin Ice fondant with world renowned sugar artists. Inspired by what he’s seen at international sugar art shows, he’s bringing the best back to America. He took some time out of his hectic schedule to share his vision for the biggest cake show in America.
Cake Central: Thank you for taking some time to chat with us about the upcoming The Americas Cake & Sugarcraft Fair. This show looks to be unlike any cake and sugar art show we’ve seen in America, how were you inspired by your international travels when you conceived this show?
Kevin O’Reilly: I had attended several larger cake shows in places like Europe, Asia, and Australia, where they were pulling in more than 20,000 attendees, and I was constantly asked what the big show was in America. While the USA has several small regional cake shows, there was no major event dedicated to cake. The goal with The Americas Cake & Sugarcraft Fair is to create an event that will bring cake artists together from throughout the Americas as well as all over the globe, and promote everything to do with cake, chocolate, and sugarcraft. We want to keep all events within the fair educational and entertaining. It is also important to me that we create an environment where the amateur can meet, talk, and learn from veteran professionals.
CC: What sets this show apart from other cake shows we’ve seen in America?
KO: The size of the show: A floor space of 150,000-square feet makes this the biggest show of its kind; an anticipated 30,000 or more attendees; the fact that we have many events happening under one roof; and it will bring a much wider demographic of people from retail bakery, the pastry industry, chocolate, in-store bakery, as well as the at-home hobbyist baker; the individual events from the on-stage entertainment to the demonstrations, Fashion Show, Live Global Cake Challenge, Cake Competition; and judging is being run and managed by industry accredited professionals.
CC: In your travels, as the Founder of Satin Fine Foods and an innovative leader in the sugar arts industry, you have made many friends and business connections, can you tell us more about your international partners who will be at the show?
KO: We have many cake artists attending from various countries to participate in live events including demonstrations and classes. Also many of our Satin Ice ambassadors and international distributors will be attending and walking the venue.
CC: There will be artists from around the world at the show, like Mich Turner, Valeri Valeriano and Christina Ong from the United Kingdom, Anna Ruiz from Mexico, Susan Trianos from Canada, and Ana Elisa Salinas from Brazil, are you expecting many international visitors to the show as well?
KO: Yes! We know that organized groups of cake enthusiasts are traveling from Brazil, the UK, Ireland, Europe, Canada, etc. to attend, adding to the international interest.
CC: The show is in the Fall, did you choose this time of year for a specific reason?
KO: Cake bakers are busy year round, however, we did book mid-September as an easier time for professionals to take a weekend break and come to the show. It’s also a time of year to slow down and look at new ideas prior to the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The weather in Florida is beautiful this time of year so it’s an ideal time to take in a vacation, or a girls’ weekend away.
CC: Tell us about your choice to host the show in Orlando, Florida, some would expect a show like this to be in New York City.
KO: We wanted the show to be accessible to everyone in the Americas – both North and South America – and Orlando represents that perfect central location. Orlando is also a premier family destination, so it’s a great opportunity for professionals and cake enthusiasts to travel with the whole family and make a vacation out of this unique experience. The host hotel, Hyatt Regency Orlando, offers magnificent dining and entertaining facilities, and so does close-by International Drive.
CC: The cake decorating competition is very inviting with more than $5000 in cash prizes, including a $1000 purse for the Professional Division Wedding Cake Category winner. Winners will also be awarded gold, silver or bronze medals, tell us about the prizes.
KO: For all the competitors entering this unique competition, each level of skill will have the chance to win a monetary prize. So, whether you are a beginner or a professional, you will be automatically entered for a chance to be best in your category. All students entering will also have the chance to win a gift card worth $200 to $300 in Satin Ice product.
CC: In addition to hundreds of cakes on display in the decorating competition, there will be wedding cake, kids, chocolate and sugar art zones, as well as a Sugar Arts Fashion Show, presentation stage, classes and demos and over 100 exhibitors. You must have an amazing team working with you to pull it all together, can you tell me about who you are partnered with to make all this happen?
KO: We are delighted to have Executive Chef Steve Evetts of Marriott Hotel Group, Former USA Pastry Team competitor and Coupe de monde Judge on board managing our Live Cake Competition. Executive Pastry Chef Tina Wright is managing all details of Cake Central’s Sugar Arts Fashion Show and many other professionals are devoting their time and talents to making this show an overwhelming success.
CC: What are you most looking forward to at The Americas Cake & Sugarcraft Fair?
KO: Seeing each event unfold, meeting the attendees, watching the celebrities interact with the audience, and learning as this is an educational as well as a fun and entertaining fair.
CC: As you prepare for this show, I’m sure you’re bursting with inspiration. What are your plans for the future of this show?
KO: The goal was to create an event that will bring cake artists together each year to meet, learn, interact and come together as a community. As this is our first year we are asking everyone to get involved, spread the word and let’s make this the best event possible!