Four months of meticulous work in her spare time came to fruition for a North Wales tutor, when she revealed an eye-catching culinary art showpiece at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg recently.
Sally Owens, a lecturer in Hospitality and Catering at Coleg Llandrillo's Rhos-on-Sea campus, marked 10 years of working with Culinary Team Wales by creating one of her most ambitious showpieces for the cold table display at the Culinary World Cup.
As 2018 was themed the 'Year of the Sea' by Visit Wales - the Welsh Government's tourism arm - Sally opted for a marine-inspired cake complete with a mermaid, turtle and levitating stingray! She made the stingray float by using magnets.
She was also a member of the Culinary Team Wales squad that won silver and bronze medals at the event, which attracted the world's best chefs.
It was different to every other showpiece on the cold table displays which were all made out of chocolate and blown sugar,
It was nice to be different and we had good feedback, although some didn't quite get the mixed medium modelling.
I tried to do something a bit wacky that I hadn't done before. It began with the internal structure with in-built lights and a levitation plate, which took me six weeks to master. I had to include a magnet in the stingray model, which was set within a cave.
The resulting showpiece was 92cms tall and most of it was edible, made with modelling paste, rice crispie treats, chocolate, royal icing, pastillage, isomalt and flower paste.
Sally's previous best known creation was an intricate wedding cake made for the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, which took her 300 hours to complete!
In addition to making showpiece cakes, Sally judges cakes and sugarwork creations internationally. She was head judge at Brazil Cake Show last year and has been invited back for 2019. She also organises Cake Cymru at the Welsh International Culinary Championships, which are held every February.
Toby Beevers, Culinary Team Wales manager and pastry chef, thanked Sally for her unstinting support over the years as a team and squad member.
Sally's showpieces are phenomenal and some have scored as high as 99 points,
For example, the royal icing cake that she made was a top end gold medal winner. For the Culinary World Cup, we wanted to do something a bit different and put a wow factor in the showpiece.
Mr Beevers also thanked Grŵp Llandrillo Menai for its unstinting support for the competition, which included sending three of its students, Oliver Parry-Molloy, Morgan Read and Dalton Weir, to assist the team.
The college was recently awarded an 'excellent' by Estyn for its Hospitality and Catering provision.
For more information on our courses in Hospitality and Catering, please visit: www.gllm.ac.uk/hospitality
Or, call the college's Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.