Kuchen Cook-Off Makes a Comeback

Who: German Club

What: Annual Kuchen Cook-Off

Where: Dining Hall

When: March 21, 2022

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  • Congratulations to the winners for their amazing cakes! (Source: Juan Arteaga Osorio (I))

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The winner of this year’s German Kuchen Cook-Off (Konditormeister) was Brigitte Currier (VI), who entered the competition with a chocolate cake in one hand and a love of baking in the other. The prized cake was a chocolate concoction dressed in vanilla frosting and topped with hand-piped flowers. The recipe, moreover, is a Currier family favorite, and Currier’s personal favorite cake. As a baking enthusiast, Currier says, “I love competition and at home, I try to get my family to do bake-offs with me.”

Upon hearing of her victory, Currier was surprised. She did not expect to be crowned this year’s Konditormeister. The win, nevertheless, has spurred her love of baking further, and “Currier creations” will surely appear at future baking events.

A cream cheese-frosted carrot cake swooped in to steal second place. A joint submission from BLS Classics teacher Mr. Dustin Brownell and student teacher Ms. Varvara Troitski, this cake was their first Kuchen Cook-Off attempt. Ms. Troitski, whom Mr. Brownell credited as being the chef-in-chief, did not envision her cake ending up on the podium: “I was in it for the love of baking. I was really quite honored.” She also comments on her elation of seeing her student, Currier, placing first and receiving the recognition she deserves.

Third place went to a frog-themed cake, crafted by Lauren Dong (VI) and Sophia Fortuin (VI). The circular cake is decorated with two hand-holding frogs, mushrooms and piped flowers. The expertly adorned cake certainly earned all of the admiration it has garnered. When asked about their performance, Fortuin notes that she is pleased that all of the effort paid off. She adds, “I plan on doing this bake-off with Lauren in the future […] we can learn from our mistakes and try to make it better.”

An honorable mention for cake design went to Gabriel Vidalis (IV) for their Terminator 2: Judgment Day inspired cake, which featured Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator design and the Austrian flag. Upon the first announcement of the Kuchen Cook-Off, Vidalis, a fan of old action movies, immediately began considering themes for their cake. This included a Sylvester Stallone cake filled with rocky road toppings, a Keanu Reeves’s Point Cake and Liam Neeson’s Caken. For Vidalis, the cook-off was nerve-wracking, since the other bakers’ wealth of cake-decorating knowledge made Vidalis doubt their own accomplishments. They comment, “I honestly thought about throwing my cake away after seeing the rest of the amazing edible creations, but I am glad I stuck with it.  I still cannot believe I got an honorable mention looking back at the amazing other cakes that were made.” Though this year’s Kuchen Cook-Off was their first, Vidalis explains that they look forward to participating again in the coming years.

As with every competition, a prize is sure to motivate participants to put their best foot —  or best cake — forward. All winners will receive a gift card, but Currier will get a special first place prize: a personal Zoom baking session with German-trained pastry chef Mark Floerke.

Most importantly, every baker deserves a congratulations for their culinary accomplishments in this year’s Kuchen Cook-Off. German Club officer Tandin Johnson Ward (I) encourages more students and faculty to either enter the competition with a cake or stop by to participate in the tasting of next year’s cook-off. She concludes, “The Kuchen Cook-Off is a better entertainment than Cupcake Wars.”