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Food City Third Annual Cake Decorating Challenge

Abingdon, VA (Thursday, October 17, 2013) – Food City recently announced the winners of their Third Annual Cake Decorating Challenge.  First prize was awarded to Michelle Trahan of  Food City in Gray, TN.  Jessica Hale of the Maryville, TN location was named second prize winner and Darlene Celso, also of the Maryville store received third prize.

Cake decorators from throughout the regional supermarket chain were invited to participate in the contest.  The winners were selected at the company’s annual Food City Food Show in Knoxville, TN.  Day one of the competition, the contestants were given six hours to create their award winning designs.  Each contender was required to create a minimum of one full sheet cake, one half sheet cake, a 6 pack cupcake and a 12 pack cupcake.  On day two, 4.5 hours were allotted to create a minimum of one fondant cake, one show theme cake and a cake of choice.  This year’s contest was sponsored by Maplehurst, Rich’s and Dawn Food Products, Inc. 

First-prize winner, Michelle Trahan received $500 and a gift package.  “I enjoy working with and training other people,” says Trahan.  Born in Kingsport, TN and raised in Lafayette, LA, Trahan has 20 years of experience decorating cakes with different mediums.  She is currently a pastry chef in training at Southeast Culinary and Hospitality College, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in baking and pastry arts.  

Jessica Hale received the second-prize of $300 and a gift package.  “Cake decorating challenges me to be creative and treat each new design as a one of a kind masterpiece,” she says.  Having worked in both floral design and cake decorating, Hale prefers the art of cake design and particular enjoys working with fondant and gum paste flowers and figurines.  

Third-prize winner, Darlene Celso received $200 and a gift package.  “My parents always told me if I could find a career doing what I love, I would never have to work a day in my life and I feel I have been lucky enough to find that as a Cake Decorator for Food City!” says Celso, who began baking and decorating cakes with her mother at the age of seven.  Prior to relocating to Tennessee and joining the Food City team, Celso owned her own bakery.

The three winners will also be given an opportunity to submit an entry for a chance to compete in the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association National Cake Decorators Challenge in Denver, Colorado in June of 2014.  Food City is currently the defending national champion, as Greeneville, TN resident and Food City cake decorator, Rebecca Lougheed was named winner of the 2013 International Dairy Deli Bakery Association Cake Decorating Challenge.

Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores operates 106 retail food outlets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. 


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