Disclaimer: I am writing this blog post before knowing the results of the contest.
I acknowledge that sometimes I may take myself too seriously. I try not to. But sometimes it is just too hard to change the fabric of who you are.
Before I continue with any editorial comments, I will tell you about the event in which I participated today.
My sister’s friend, who works at Hillcrest Hospital, told her about this and asked her to pass the info on to me.
The Cleveland Clinic was hosting their second annual Cupcake Wars to benefit the American Heart Association. bit.ly/LIdbxW
There were five categories you could enter in:
- Anything Goes
I of course chose to enter in the professional category. After some deliberation I elected to enter with Salted Caramel Cupcakes, my most popular flavor. After making them, I had a debate with my husband over which decoration to go with. Here were my two choices.
The husband convinced me to go with the one on the left, so trusting his opinion, I did just that. I finished decorating my 24 cupcakes, boxed them up and stowed them in the fridge for the night. This morning, bright and early, I transported those cupcakes to Hillcrest Hospital to enter them in the contest.
This is the point at which I will stop giving you just the facts, and will give you my review of the event.
Remember at the beginning of the post when I said it is hard to shake the fabric of who you are? Well, I have had a lot of professional experience as an event planner. Naturally, any time I attend or participate in an event, I cannot help but to analyze how well it is done.
There seemed to be a lot of disorganization to this event. The flyer boasted Cleveland celebrities as judges but I didn’t find out who the actual judges were until this morning when I got there. I asked several people when the judging would take place and when the winners would be announced. No one had an answer.
The judges all arrived at random times. They took their seats at the judges’ table but seemed more concerned about posing for pictures and signing autographs (if you knew the control I am exerting right now over the snark that is threatening to spill out of me, you would be so proud) than they were with actually focusing on the cupcakes placed in front of them.
Because there were over 40 cupcakes to try, the panel of 6 judges were split into two groups of 3, with each group sampling half of the cupcakes.
Tim Misny was one of the judges and I noticed one of the contestants talking to him at length, telling him her story, which cupcakes were hers, etc. It occurred to me that maybe the contestant should not be allowed to talk to the judges while judging was taking place. It just seemed maybe it would be most fair if they weren’t biased by getting to know the contestants.
Close to the end, I realized that it was the other group of judges that was getting mine to taste. I walked over to watch them. One of the judges on that side was former Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano. My cupcake was placed on a plate in front of him. A “fan” came up to talk to him and knocked over a placard, causing it to fall onto my cupcake, smashing the top and the lovely decorations. He also spilled a little coffee. After he apologized and walked away, I watched Sam take my cupcake, place it in a box at his feet, and mark my score sheet with a 6, 6, and 7.
HE NEVER EVEN TASTED IT. Not even a lick of frosting.
Now I understand that this is the point in this post where it may sound like sour grapes.
But here’s the thing. If he had tasted it and scored it that way, then fine. Everyone has their own preferences. You win some, you lose some. But to not even taste it and arbitrarily score it a 6 felt a bit like a slap in the face.
None of the judges took it very seriously, but at least the rest seemed to taste the cupcakes that were placed in front of them. If you are going to have a Professional category, maybe you should have people that are qualified to judge. Or who are at least willing to taste everything.
At the end of the day, I realize this is a small silly contest that doesn’t amount to a whole lot. But, it is the principle of the matter.
The silver lining to all this is that the American Heart Association is the winner in all of this. The cupcakes that were not used for judging were sold to the public, with proceeds benefiting the AHA. And the public came out in droves. It was a feeding frenzy.
So, bad contest, good fundraiser.
What do you think? Am I overly bitter? Would you feel the same way if you had entered the contest?