Sharon Thompson: Lexington baker's cake takes the prize

swthompson@herald-leader.com, Sharon ThompsonJanuary 30, 2013 

The image of a wedding cake created by Cameron Tinker, pastry chef/owner of Tinker's Bake Shop, won't be adorning the envelope of a wedding invitation, but the cake is still a winner.

The United States Postal Service, or USPS, reissued the wedding cake stamp this month in conjunction with the American Philatelic Society's AmeriStamp Expo at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

Before the event, the Postal Service hosted a Wedding Cake Stamp-Off competition in which entries had to feature a USPS theme. Tinker's winning entry was a four-tier strawberries and cream cake featuring edible ribbons and miniature stamps.

"I chose a clean design featuring the signature blue and red bands that you would see on a USPS package and gold fondant stamps and stamp 'flowers' for accents," Tinker said. "The flavor I chose was one of our most popular, strawberries and cream.

"It was an honor to be chosen as the winner by this group of judges with such extensive culinary backgrounds."

Judges were chef David Dodd, director of Sullivan University's National Center for Hospitality Studies; John Carlos White, publisher and editor-in-chief of Food and Dining Magazine; and Alice Columbo, former assistant food critic for The Louisville Courier-Journal.

The Wedding Cake stamp, first introduced in 2009 and sold at the two-ounce rate, accommodates the heavier weight of an invitation, oversize cards or small gifts that require extra postage. The new stamp is 66 cents, and the cake featured on it is by Peter Brett, a Washington, D.C., pastry chef.

Tinker's Cake Shop is at 317 West Maxwell Street. Call (859) 252-9636 or go to Tinkerscakeshop.com.If you're planning a wedding, you can discover the latest trends in cakes and flowers, and meet some of Lexington's top caterers at Purdon Rental's Bridal Affair on Saturday.

"We've brought together the best wedding specialists to provide answers to your bridal questions," Margie Purdon said. "They are the people who live it, breathe it and do it, seven days a week. It's not their hobby, not a side job, it's their only job — making successful events happen."

Food professionals include: Darae & Friends Catering, Dupree Catering, Martine's Pastries, Selma's Catering, She Bakes Cakes, Something Sweet, South Van Events and Tinker's Cake Shop.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Purdon's is at 2390 Woodhill Drive. Call (859) 266-1197 or go to Purdonrental.com.

Chili cook-off for charity

People connected with the Thoroughbred racing industry in Central Kentucky may enter their best chili in a cook-off March 2. The event is hosted by Bluegrass Farms Charities, which provides social services to people working in all aspects of racing.

The overall winner's prize is a $200 shopping spree at Whole Foods Market. Categories are: judge's choice (overall winner); firehouse chili (hottest); peoples' choice; best traditional; and best non-traditional. Entry fee is $50. Information is available by email at Bgfcky@yahoo.com.

The cook-off, from 3 to 7 p.m., will be at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion, 2400 Newtown Pike. A donation of $10 includes a bottomless bowl of chili, drinks and dessert.

Chef makes 'best' book

Jeremy Ashby, chef at Azur Restaurant, is included in the inaugural edition of Best Chefs America, which will be released March 1. The 386-page coffee-table book profiles top chefs and restaurants as nominated and reviewed by their peers. Ashby is host of Sunny Side Up Radio, which does podcasts from Sunnysidupradio.com and Food News and Chews on Fox 56 at 11 p.m. Sunday. Azur is at 3070 Lakecrest Circle. Call (859) 296-1007 or go to Azurrestaurant.com.

"It feels very nice to be recognized by my colleagues across the nation," he said. "I have enjoyed the path that being a chef has taken me, from winning awards at school to being recognized on a local, then state and now national level fuels my desire to get out there and show off the agricultural talent that Kentucky has to offer. A notch in the belt like Best Chefs in America makes me feel like I am realizing my dreams."

Also included in the publication is Anthony Lamas, chef/owner of Seviche restaurant in Louisville. Lamas was a 2010, 2011 and 2012 semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation "Best Chef Southeast" award, and the restaurant was named one of the 10 great places for Latino flavor and flair in the country by USA Today. In 2011, Lamas won the Extreme Chef title on Food Network. Seviche is at 1538 Bardstown Road. Call (502) 473-8560 or go to Sevicherestaurant.com.

Best Chefs America is $75 and may be purchased at Bestchefsamerica.com.

Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com

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