Fair Park is getting attention with talk about its future, and soon it will be overwhelmed with crowds lining up to be jostled on topsy-turvy rides and waiting in front of decadent food-serving stalls as the State Fair of Texas makes its return.
But this weekend, Fair Park plays host to a different kind of event.
The Dallas Bake Off will welcome 64 bakers (as of Wednesday morning) to compete Saturday in the Embarcadero Building of Fair Park. The bakers will compete in six categories: cake, chocolate, cookies, cupcakes, macarons and pie. These are people who just love to bake and want to share their talents and hopefully win prizes for them.
Dallas event production company Three Twelve Company, led by Lauren Lee, is organizing the event. Lee is a baker and has operated an online bakery, competed in bake-offs, and appeared on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars and Cake Wars.
“We don’t have a large-scale baking competition like this in Dallas. I remember when I was entering competitions, I had to leave Dallas to attend this kind of thing,” Lee says. “I hope this event brings the community together and it gives people an outlet to share what they love to do.“
Tickets for us average people to judge are sold out. Those who can attend get to test competitors’ goods in one or two categories, and narrow them down to a top-three list. Then those three get to go the main stage. Prizes for winners, including a KitchenAid mixer, aren’t too shabby.
The top three for each category will be reviewed and judged by four professionals: Bronwen Weber, owner of Frosted Art Bakery and Studio; Kate Weiser, owner of Kate Weiser Chocolate; Nicolas Blouin, pastry chef at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek; and Sarah Knowlton, co-founder and creative director of We the Birds, a website that, among other things, sells macarons.
You can buy general admission tickets online or at the gate Saturday. A $10 ticket gets you samples from a number of vendors, including Baked by Toni Rivard, HauteSweets and The Boozy Baker. You’ll also get to see the judging.
“The show itself is an experience. It’s not just people walking up on stage; it’s a full-on show that they’ll watch,” Lee says.
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And that experience is really what this is all about. This is the kind of event that welcomes those of us who are willing to spend dollars on not just food, but also a complete experience such as a festival or competition.
“That is what I want. At any of these things — the workshops, events — the products matter, the gifts matter. But it's people coming together and meeting people outside of their bubble, either with similar or different passions to their own, and taking home the entire experience,” Lee says. “I just want people to leave with a good feeling.”
Lee already has a bake-off planned for 2018, and before that there will be a kids’ version. Can’t go to this one? Keep up to date with those future events and more on Three Twelve’s Instagram account.