Hi, everyone! After a whirlwind CookieCon 2019, I'm finally home and (partially) recovered from the overwhelming amount of sweetness encountered in Reno! I'm also bearing a big gift . . . no, it's not scads of trading buttons or cookies (I'm greedily keeping those all to myself)! It's that Saturday Spotlight you've all been waiting for! Yes, it's the CookieCon 2019 Sugar Show Recap! Woo hoo!
Before we get into the details, first, a huge thank-you to Karen and Mike Summers of CookieCon for, once again, pulling off the Greatest Cookie Show on Earth (as dubbed by the venerable @Arty McGoo in her keynote address). Every moment was truly magical. I am also especially thankful for their annual tradition of sharing their awards presentation with me. This generous gesture allows me to turn the event into this Spotlight and share it with those who weren't lucky enough to experience it firsthand (or who were too overcome by the actual festivities to fully absorb it all then ). So, again, thank you to Karen and Mike.
I know, I know, it's hard to imagine, but the Sugar Show was bigger and better than ever this year. One notable addition was this expert jury panel . . .
These fine cookie artists judged the show for the first time, using criteria like initial impression, color palette, execution, creativity, and practicality to select both beginner- and advanced-level winners in each of three categories. Those categories were Art & Music, Games, and Anything Goes. So, in addition to the usual popular vote in these categories, you'll see these judges' first, second, and third place picks below. And let's not forget the usual instructors' picks and Mystery Shape category, which we'll come to later in this post.
Heads up: some of the photos to follow are a bit small, so I encourage you to track down these winning artists online to view their work in larger format, and, of course, to like their pages and congratulate them. Onward, shall we?!
Art & Music Category
Way to go to all, but especially to Leslie Marchio on both her popular vote and judges' selections! I absolutely loved her entry. Again, to appreciate all of its incredible detail and the other amazing entries, please visit Leslie and the other winners online! Now, for the next category.
An aside: There were so many "Operation" game replicas entered into this category for some inexplicable reason; they could have been a category unto themselves! But, each entry had a unique and fun twist, as you'll soon see!
Special congrats to two-time winners, Laura Olinde and Megan Warne.
Next up, the category where theme is completely disregarded and you can decorate whatever your heart desires (!!) . . .
Fantastic, right?! A special shout-out to another two-time category winner, Tara Solander.
Now, onto the Mystery Shape category. For those not in the know, the entries in this category were all made in real time, right there at CookieCon. Whereas in the previous categories, people had weeks or months to noodle over and perfect their designs, entrants in this category received the same blank cookie at CookieCon and had to decorate it on the fly! It's always so fascinating to see the various interpretations that arise!
And, now, here are the personal faves that the instructors and keynote speaker picked . . .
But, first, a quick reminder of those instructors . . .
What an incredible honor to be pictured among these lovely and talented women, but I digress . . . Let's first see who Keynote Speaker Arty McGoo, aka Elizabeth Adams, picked . . .
Excellent choice! And now for the rest, in no particular order . . .
Last but not least, a special award given by longstanding CookieCon sponsor and cookie industry icon Ann Clark . . .
And, that's a wrap - until the next CookieCon, that is . . . which, BTW, is happening in Louisville, Kentucky at the end of February 2020!
In the meantime, there's plenty of time to practice and in so many different ways - on your own, through our challenges on this site, through my cookie competition in July and others across the country, etc., etc. All are great opportunities for expanding skills, connecting with others, and, most important, having fun!
Congrats again to all of the marvelous CookieCon winners and to Karen and Mike for another successful Sugar Show!
Note: Though I will be traveling next weekend (my remote home renovation saga continues), I aim to resume normal Spotlights on Saturday, April 6.
All cookies shown here were made by the designers listed; all photos and slides are courtesy of CookieCon.
To check out our other hot lists, at any time of day, visit our Hot Spot, also found in the site's main navigation line.