Throwing a bakeoff competition

Dear Anne,

Im excited to hear about your trip to London and Amsterdam. Did you revisit any nostalgic spots? Please tell me you went to Kipferl or Azzou?!

I wanted to let you know that I returned to my event planning roots at my office. I organized and hosted a bakeoff to jumpstart some school spirit at my workplace.

I had this grandiose plan of having about 20 competitors form each floor (four floors) compete against others form their floor. then the respective winners in each category (also four categories) would move on to the final round. The final round would feature all 16 winners from round one compete in the final that I planned to hold in the fall.

I was humbled. We had 11 entrants overall. And to be honest, at the end of the day, I was glad we reached double digits because it was difficult to persuade people to bake rather than just “come and see” or rather eat free food!

My sign up sheet hovered at about seven participants until the last couple days. I learned a few things from this event and I would do it again, although Ill offer support and guidance because I’d really like to bake and compete next time. Let me take you through what the categories, hardships and takeaways of this summer bakeoff.

The categories for winning were best presentation, most creative recipe, best tasting and overall winner. The shark cake won for best presentation. The strawberry rhubarb pie won for best tasting, a double chocolate zucchini loaf won for most creative and overall were phyllo nests with ricotta and a mango jam!



I created a judges score sheet, which you can view here: Bakeoff scoresheet.

Next time, I’m going to make the time to include a fifth category of judging: a people’s choice. It would have made the peanut gallery more interactive with each other instead of just shyly mingling. Well, it is not as if no one knew each other, but I thought about keeping them occupied as the judges deliberated and that would have been one way, I think.

Another good idea is to hold a bake sale for the leftover remains of each of the entries. One the proceeds would go to a good internal cause and two people wouldn’t over-indulge and leave some stuff for other employees. I was a little choked that people were taking whole cupcakes when clearly everything was being cut up to accommodate “tastings”. Sheesh!

One thing I did not anticipate doing as much was internal marketing. Oh man, Anne! I had to do some “light” arm twisting and a lot of reminders to garner support for people to bake and not just watch.

I have to say that I was happy with the turnout and people were commenting abuot how great it ended up being and the turnout was large. I was happy and at least it gets my name and face around the company.

P.s. I bought trophies for the winners!

Ciao for now,


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