No those aren’t real chicken wings – but with their glossy sheen you’d think they just came out of the kitchen at Anchor Bar. No this is the winning cake from Saturday’s Nickel City Cake Challenge. Tony Concialdi III of Panaro’s on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo won the trophy with his delicious chocolate cake filled with a sweet, whipped ricotta and topped with fondant. What appeared at first glance to be a traditional wedding cake was actually an homage to WNY’s favorite foods. The base layer was made up of individually sculpted beef on weck sandwiches and a pepperoni pizza made of fondant and white chocolate. Sculpted suicide wings dripping with “sauce” augmented the individual layers, and to top it off, a poured sugar beer bottle topper took the place of the more traditional bride and groom. Concialdi’s cake may have been the epitome of the challenge’s theme.
Stunning interpretations of the theme were also delivered by Zilly Rosen of Zillycakes and Susan Spider of Pumpernick n’ Pastry Shoppe. Rosen’s cake depicted edible an homage to a dozen of Buffalo’s most architecturally stunning buildings–buildings where, as recently as the morning of competition, Rosen has delivered wedding cakes to blushing brides. Spider of Pumpernick used her tried and true painting skills to decorate each layer of her cake with a different season. She and her assistant–Pumpernick’s owner, Suzanne Linde–were a shining example of preparedness and teamwork with each step of their project timed out and perfectly executed.
Host Bert Gambini of WBFO 88.7 hosted the event, entertaining the audience with facts and trivia about cakes and the world of cake artistry. When time was called the panel of professional judges (made up of ECC Pastry Instructor Kyle Haak, NCCC Pastry Instructor Maria Iacovitti, and food writer/newlywed Sarah Wally) deliberated while winners of the amateur contest were announced. Of the amateur entries that arrived, all were impressive, but the winners were Heather Harzewski of Lockport, NY and a trio of ladies from Cheektowaga–Jennie Wodzinski and sister Jackie, along with friend Dawn Stroh. Both of the cakes were voted to be the best of the bunch by the panel of professional judges and the audience.
Nickel City Cake Challenge: Wedding in Buffalo was the first-ever sweet event for Feed Your Soul, the culinary event company responsible for the hit Nickel City Chef series. Tickets for Season Two of Nickel City Chef are on sale now (but not for long), and anyone interested in staying up-to-date on Feed Your Soul’s events can join the Nickel City Chef fan page on Facebook. A second Nickel City Cake Challenge is slated for October 2010.