Next up in our Cookie Competitor Live Chat Series is one of the fiercest (yet nicest and most humble) cookie competitors around: Thomas Blake Hogan, first-place winner of Julia's 2017 competition and also of her recent televised 3-D Cookie Art Competition™ at Show Me Sweets. He's placed in many more competitions besides these two for both his cookies and cakes (over 40, to be exact!), so we're in for a big treat!
In the chat, we'll address how Thomas typically preps for competitions, how he travels with and sets up competition pieces (always a scary task!), which types of competitions (online, televised, in-person, etc.) he prefers, and much more!
To help you formulate questions for the chat, I encourage you to read Thomas' bio and list of (VERY impressive) competition accolades below! Please also review the following chat guidelines. We look forward to "seeing" you on August 24!
(1) Feel free to enter advance questions now by following the instructions at the top of this chat page. (As always, it's super helpful for questions to be logged early, so our guests are able to prepare answers beforehand and to field more questions during live chat time.)
(2) Please note that any advance questions will reveal one at a time, in the order received, only after the chat goes live. Do not expect questions or answers to appear immediately.
(3) Last but not least, as with all of these chats, you have a special opportunity to see inside the minds of some extremely talented decorators, so I encourage you to do your homework before jumping on the chat. Again, please review Thomas' bio and other information below.
Thomas Blake Hogan is a self-taught hobbyist who has risen through the ranks to become a multi-award-winning competitive sugar artist. Growing up in Missouri with an artistic family, Thomas always had a passion for creating. After graduating with a degree in musical theatre, he has made a career as a professional entertainer, most recently performing on several cruise ships. His introduction to sugar arts began when he was a teenager watching the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show (OSSAS) featured on Food Network. From the first time he competed at OSSAS, he was hooked. Each year he kept wanting to try new things and expand his skills. This desire led him to start entering the cookie category at OSSAS, and soon cookies became one of his favorite mediums. In the eight years that he competed at OSSAS, Thomas grew from a teen beginner to a professional-level sugar artist. Thomas continues to enter various competitions around the United States whenever possible. He has placed over 40 times in competition, including 25 first-place awards. Though he doesn’t limit himself to one category of sugar art, Thomas is making quite a name for himself in the art of cookies by having won several major awards recently*. He enjoys expanding the possibilities of what cookies can do. The thrill and challenge of competition constantly drives Thomas to grow as an artist.
*Thomas’ most prestigious accolades include:
2019 Julia M. Usher’s 3-D Cookie Art Competition™, First Place
2019 SoFlo Cake & Candy Expo, First Place in Cookie Category, Best in Show
2018 Frosting Creators Sugar Arts Showcase, First Place in Cookie Category, Best in Show
2017 Julia M. Usher’s Cookie Art Competition™, First Place
2017 Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show, Non-Professional Best in Show
2016 Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show, Non-Professional Best in Show