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.