Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday Tips and being a Redpath Sweet Pro

In May of this year I received an email from Redpath Sugar.  Would I be interested in becoming a Redpath Sweet Pro at this year's Canada's Baking and Sweets Show?  I was honoured to get the invitation and I didn't hesitate in answering "yes!"  Not only do I love what I do, I enjoy sharing my knowledge, so I knew being a Sweet Pro would be a lot of fun!

The weeks leading up to the show were a whirlwind, with videotaping my Sweet Pro promo to preparing my demonstrations for the show.  I was scheduled to do two demos each of three days - Introduction to Decorating and Intermediate Skills using the theme of this year's Baking and Sweets Show, The Wizard of Oz.  I baked more than one hundred cookies, decorated about 40 for displays and the remainder I prepared to use at the demos.  I also made a large amount of royal icing which I prepped in all the colours I needed.  I packed my spatulas, paint brushes, food colouring, bowls, piping bags, couplers, whisk, scissors, lustre dusts... yes, it was like I was moving house.

Here is my car ready to drive to the "Big Smoke"
My nerves were in overdrive on the day I was scheduled to leave.  Would I run out of cookies or supplies?  Would I be to talk for 30 whole minutes?  Would I make a fool of myself on stage?  All those thoughts settled down once I started driving to Toronto, with the feeling of "whatever happens, happens".  I set up for my first demonstration and with both a camera person and assistant beside me, I began.  Soon 30 minutes were done and I could have spoken for another half an hour.  The crowds were amazing, standing room only!  I could see light bulbs going off for so many people in the audience.  I know I am not a fancy decorator, but I am efficient and practical and I have picked up a few tips making 20,000 cookies in the last two years, tips that I am happy to share!

After the first demo, I was so relaxed it was all about having fun!  On the second day my family came to watch.  This might surprise you, but they don't know a lot about the process of making cookies.  You see, they rarely see any part of it, mostly because they are not allowed in my Sweet Handmade Cookie kitchen.  You read that right - that is my rule.  It is a health board approved kitchen and I keep everyone out.  Also, they are not very interested in the subject of cookies.  I thought the demonstrations would be boring for them, but my family (my harshest critics) were fabulously complementary!  It made me feel terrific.

I also met a lot of local people who came to the show.  One of my friends won tickets to the show in fact and we had lunch together.  One local baker won the theme cake competition for the third year in a row!!  There was so much to see and do.  So many great famous chefs and bakers were there giving demonstrations.  And so much yummy food!  I finished my last demonstration on Sunday, packed up my things and headed for home.  It was a weekend I won't soon forget.  The Redpath crew were incredibly fun, kind and generous; the crowds were receptive, happy and inquisitive.  When I arrived home, my family had made me a beautiful and delicious dinner!

As a result of the positivity I received from the audiences, I am launching a new website feature, called Tuesdays Tips.  Watch this space every Tuesday for a new tip on how to make beautiful cookies easier than ever!  See you next Tuesday right here for a helpful and easy tip.

P.S.  Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for behind the scenes pictures as well as some more pictures from the show.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I so wanted to go. But there was no way I could go and still come back in time to see the boys. I need all the tips I can get so I will be reading each time.

    And I beg to differ! I think you are very fancy. I can't get over your little works of art and always feel a little sad that I have to eat it and it will never be seen again...luckily the tasty cookie soothes my sad soul and I grab another work of art and eat that one too!