Food Network Challenge

Did anyone see the episode yesterday (June 20) about preparing a birthday cake for the frequent judge Kerry Vincent?

I just felt that the female baker (Stevie ?)was sooooo unprofessional. She didn’t ask any questions on what Kerry would like. She insisted on doing her own idea of a “cake”. She seemed annoyed that Kerry was the mystery client. At one point she seemed to be having a meltdown.

She prepared this terrible monstrosity…in such a sloppy and unappetizing fashion. It almost seemed as if she was oblivious to the fact that cake is something to be eaten, not just decorated. She has given herself such bad publicity, I wouldn’t use her company if I needed a cake.

foodnetwork.com/food-network-challenge/surprise-birthday-cakes/index.html

I saw that episode a week or so ago. I don’t remember the name of the contestant, but I think you are correct that it may be Stevie. Stevie is an artist and I’ve seen her before. Apparently, Kerry is a tough judge and a lot of the contestants have issues with her. I think she is tough but fair, with high standards, though I haven’t watched a lot of the challenges. That is my impression the few times I have seen her. Bottom line, Stevie, the artist, really dislikes her.

I do not like Stevie’s attitude or her work at all. She actually made the comment that she didn’t think that the customer is always right, like she knows better than they do and won’t give them what they want, but thinks it is better to give them what she wants. To me, if one is in the service industry, one serves. Her cakes, in my opinion, are awful. The one she threw together for Kerry was the worst of those I’ve seen her make. The way she was just jamming cake pieces together and glopping on icing was just gross and very unprofessional. Her kitchen was a disgusting display with a huge mess everywhere. She had dirty dishes left everywhere, food was spilled and left on counters and the floor, crumbs and icing were just slopped around. It was just gross. Then, it was surreal that her cake actually caught on fire (guess that was to be expected with alcohol and flame) and they had to use a fire extinguisher on it. And, she was aware that she was on television, but didn’t seem to see that her performance was really bad publicity for herself and her company.

I agree with you and would never use her company for any type of cake or food item. Yuck. And, I likely wouldn’t go to her for anything else either due to her attitude. Guess I would just be another Kerry in her book.

Here’s an article on the challenge:

"Cooking for a queen
Chefs bake cakes for a sugar czar

If you’re going to make a birthday cake for the queen bee of sugar art, you had better bring your “A” game.

Tulsan Kerry Vincent is best known as the director of the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show, but in recent years she’s become famous for judging dozens of Food Network cake challenge competitions.

She’s a tough judge who strikes fear into the hearts of cake decorators, deducting precious points for sloppy technique — the Simon Cowell of cake, she’s been called. Vincent was not amused when one of the competitors in a previous challenge said the wicked queen cake she was making reminded her of Kerry. "…

Full article here: tulsaworld.com/scene/article.aspx?subjectid=39&articleid=20090610_39_D3_Tulsan686514

I was able to find a picture and video of the cake that Stevie made with commentary on the “Cake Wrecks” blog:

Cake Wrecks - Kill it with Fire
cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2009/06/kill-it-with-fire-oh-wait-they-already.html

Sometimes I think Kerry’s attitude invites this kind of disrespect. :stuck_out_tongue:

I can’t believe I missed this episode! Kerry Vincent reminds me of a Mother Superior (like the one in “The Trouble with Angels”) that you end up loving because she forces you to bring out your very best! For that reason, I have tremendous respect for her.

On the other hand, while my decorating skills would never meet the standards of the Oklahoma State Sugar Show, I can understand how some people can just HATE her (I get ulcers just watching the OSSS… I don’t think I could handle the pressure!)

That said, although I didn’t see the episode, I think I know the decorator you’re talking about. They did an episode a few months ago where they had to design wedding cakes for engaged couples. This decorator (Stevie?) INSISTED to her “client” that she (the client) DIDN’T want a traditional looking wedding cake and went ahead and did what appeared to be a tower of cream puffs, drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce. Supposedly this is all the rage in Europe (I can’t for the life of me recall what it was called… it had a special name, but it escapes me) but you could tell from the look on the client’s face that she was SO disappointed. It looked NOTHING like a wedding cake, had no colors other than the natural colors of the cream puffs and sauces. No flowers, no tiers. It could have been a dessert for any function… just a giant pile of cream puffs! So I know what you mean that this decorator feels that since SHE is the professional and SHE knows best and what the client wants is irrelevant because they don’t know what is truly ARTISTIC.

I only work for Wal-Mart and even though we don’t charge thousands of dollars for wedding cakes (in fact, most professionals would laugh themselves sick at what we charge) I do make it a point to do EXACTLY what the bride and groom want, even if I don’t particularly care for the design and colors they choose… it’s their wedding, it should be their choice!

And any REAL professional knows, you have to keep your customers happy… THEY are paying your salary!

Hi Bluerose…Swizzlestick was able to provide a link to some of the footage.

This baker also did a cake of a bridge, that fell apart right before the judging.:eek:

As for Kerry, she seems tough…but the Mother Superior analogy is spot on. The baker who won asked her questions about what type of colors she liked etc. He was able to get her to admit that she had never had a birthday cake as a child:( He used techniques that he knew she liked. As he was working, he mentioned that Kerry was particular about a clean kitchen, so he and his helpers would clean up as they went along.

Stevie, on the other hand, was decorating her “cake” from a bowl of melted chocolate placed on the floor. :eek:

Kerry actually seemed touched by the effort of the winning team and somewhat hurt by the lack of effort of Stevie’s team.

Side note:
Bluerose, do you mean profiteroles? (the cream puff tower). That would annoy me too. How do you put the little bride and groom on top of a cream-puff tower?

I saw that episode. I watch Challenge weekly and I am not put off by Kerry. She is tough but she is fair- she is an expert and demands professionalism in the craft of sugar, candy and cake making/decorating.

I agree with the poster’s comment that Kerry expects your “A” game - as she should.

The cake in question was a disgusting slop of a cake. The kitchen was horrendous and the assembly lacked finesse. Plus it had nothing to do with Kerry. Nothing too make Kerry feel special. Man was that cake the ugliest cake I have ever seen on Challenge.

The decorator did comment that the customer is not always right. If I am hiring a decorator for a special occasion, I want what I want - not what you think I want…if you want to get paid that is.:smiley:

Hi Bluerose…Swizzlestick was able to provide a link to some of the footage.

Yes, and I saw the “cake”! :eek: “Appalling” was the kindest word I could come up with!

As he was working, he mentioned that Kerry was particular about a clean kitchen, so he and his helpers would clean up as they went along.

Stevie, on the other hand, was decorating her “cake” from a bowl of melted chocolate placed on the floor. :eek:

THAT would get us fired at Wal*Mart!!!

Bluerose, do you mean profiteroles? (the cream puff tower). That would annoy me too. How do you put the little bride and groom on top of a cream-puff tower?

Yes, I believe so! Did you happen to see the episode I was talking about? I’m not even sure the contestant was Stevie, but if not, it was close enough to be her twin, from the attitude to the mess she made of the cake!

My mistake twice… it wasn’t Stevie, it was Elizabeth Falkner on the episode “Battle of the Brides” foodnetwork.com/videos/battle-of-the-brides/32813.html and the type of cake (?) is called “croquembouche” cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2009/06/and-now-more-weird-wedding-cakes.html

Scroll down below the croquembouche pictured on this page and you will find a wedding cake to captivate all you Peeps lovers out there!

I had the… um… pleasure… of being at the taping of that particular episode and got to watch the cake go up in flames… quite entertaining to say the least…

Anyhow, I wish they had 2 hours for this episode. At the judging, Stevie actually took the time to ARGUE with Kerry for almost 10 minutes about why her cake was superior and how it was perfectly okay to make a cake that was artistic and not what the client wanted… it was sickening really.

Wow, that’s neat. I’m sure it was very entertaining (on several levels) to actually be there to see talented decorators and Stevie too. Having to use a fire extinguisher on the cake was likely quite memorable and perhaps a bit surreal, I’m sure. Lucky you.

:eek::eek::eek:

I’m curious. Do you have any idea why Food Network (or anybody) would invite the woman to showcase her “work?” I looked at some of the pieces on her website (found the site on the Cake Wreck blog) and was not impressed (a couple of pieces were just really gross and most others were nothing special). Who would hire this woman for anything, considering her attitude and the results? I could see putting up with her if she actually produced wonderful items, but she does not. So, I am puzzled. Perhaps it is all strictly the entertainment factor of having her unique personality showcased that is the draw? However, I would think Food Network would give a talented decorator the slot instead of going for sheer entertainment. Just my thought.

I just have one question about that cake wreck. If it had not caught on fire how would they have eaten it? From what the video showed she put some sort of paper material on the outside of the cake. So you have to some how get inside the cake to eat it? :hmmm:

That is unbelievable that she sat there and argued with her “customer” for 10 minutes.:bigyikes: In the real world I would have walked out in half that time as I’m sure Kerry Vincent would have also. Customer service is everything in that type of business.

My guess - it pays. This episode has definitely been talked about… so from a marketing perspective, that makes sense.

It was rice paper- so I suppose it was edible. I sure wouldn’t have wanted to eat anything on that though… looked disgusting!

I do agree it looked disgusting. Most certainly not something that I would want for my birthday.

I think you found the reason, it does make sense, though it is somewhat disappointing that someone lost a shot at the $10,000 to someone who had no chance, but who was there sheerly for entertainment value, rather than because she had decorating talent.

Not only was the result disgusting to behold, her technique–shoving blocks of cake down on skewers and spooning big glopping drizzles of liquid sugar and chocolate around was not appetizing to see–and hygiene–she set her bowl of chocolate on the floor and she and her work station were a mess–in creating the cake weren’t appealing at all either. No way would I have eaten any part of that mess.

That would definitely have gotten her in major trouble had she been any where else.

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