Cake, Cake and More Cake….. ICES 2013.

I hope I’m not the only one who had no idea what “ICES” was… until last weekend!  ICES is short for the “International Cake Exploration Societe” and last weekend they held their annual USA convention in Lexington, Kentucky.  Now a three day “Cake Convention” is not normally something I would attend, but… with the words “exploration” and “cake” in the title… how could I go wrong?
A few weeks ago I got a cold-call from a number I didn’t recognize with a Miami area code.  I know a few people from Miami so I took the call.  On the other end of the line was a friendly sounding gentleman named Raul from Bogota, Colombia.  He was calling me on his Magic-Jack and explained that he had found my name and contact information from a popular business networking site.  He wanted to know if I could help him.  Raul is a baker and would be attending the 2013 ICES Convention and needed a Spanish speaker to help translate for the event.  Not knowing much about cakes, other than they taste really good, I decided to accept his request for assistance!  What a wonderful decision that turned out to be.  You see the world of “cake” is really pretty interesting, not to mention tasty, and I had the opportunity to see it from the perspective of an insider for 3 days.  Raul, his son David and another Colombian friend named Cesar, came to the convention to make more contacts and sell cake making products like they have been doing for over a decade.  They were concerned that they didn’t speak English well enough to deal with the public, that’s where I came in handy.  I speak Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and a bit of English and was eager to sharpen my language skills over the 3 day event and maybe eat some tasty cake.  The annual convention in the USA is held in a different city each year.  Everything that goes into or on-top of a cake is bought and sold at the convention.   People come from all over the world to see the latest cake making products… cake air-brush machines, cake photo-printers, silicone cake molds, textured cake rolling-pins, colored-fondant, frosting and chocolate flowers were just a few of the hundreds of products available at the convention.  All weekend Raul demonstrated his products and I translated what he was saying, answered questions from potential customers and helped him sell his goods… after 3 days of “cake-speak” and translation, my head was hurting…. There were plenty of funny moments!  A large group of women from Nigeria attended, evidently fancy cakes are now very popular in the oil-rich republic.  The women were a trip…. all had great senses of humor, were always looking for a “deal,” and never wanted to pay the marked price on anything!  They made the weekend both challenging and funny!
I really enjoyed the convention and made some wonderful friends who just happen to make really tasty cake!

Below, a few of the beautiful cakes displayed at the 2013 International Cake Exploration Societe Convention in Lexington, Kentucky.

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I am an adventure-loving American man, with a severe case of wander-lust and a desire to experience as much of this wonderful world as humanly possible. Every place I have visited or lived has taught me something about life and helped me grow. For me, traveling opens my eyes to how similar the human race is, yet at the same time, how unique we all are. I hope this blog will motivate you to put down the TV remote, dust off your backpack and decide to take a chance on an adventure. It can be a walk in a new neighborhood 2 miles from home or a trip to a far off distant land. I have lived in or visited over 50 countries during my life and hope to see many more. I want to share my experiences. I hope you enjoy the blog. -WAND3R3R, Somewhere on the Globe, 2014.