"We're cake decorators," says Harriet Cobb, president of the West Tennessee Sugar Artists (WTSA). The 75 members of the WTSA, founded in 1999, work with fondant, buttercream, modeling chocolates, and more as their mediums.
This week, the WTSA will once again host the Sugar Arts Show and Competition during the Delta Fair. The competition is separate from the fair's culinary division, as artistic vision is prized above all else.
The theme for last year's contest was "Memphis and Its Music," with Best of Show being awarded to Karen Brown of Brown Baguette Bakery for her multi-tiered cake that encompassed all of Memphis music history, from jazz and blues to opera and Elvis.
The theme for this year's event is "Pin It to Cake." Those competing are charged with taking three images from Pinterest and putting them into cake form. And those pinned items don't necessarily have to be cake or even food.
Contestants don't have to be a member of WTSA to enter, and within the contest are divisions for youth (which has a separate theme, "Carnival Food"), novice, skilled, and professional. There's also the "extreme" division, which means the cake must have a moving part. But no pyrotechnics or open flame — that isn't allowed at the Agricenter.
The deadline to enter the contest has passed, but cake lovers can vote for their favorite designs in the People's Choice contest. There will also be vendors and cake-related classes and demos. A portion of the proceeds benefits 4-H of Shelby County.
Second Annual Sugar Arts Show and Competition, Thursday-Saturday, September 5th-7th, 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. at the Agricenter International, wing A. For a full schedule and more information, go to westtnsugarartists.org.