cupcake camp … part deux

This time it was Montréal.  And I wasn’t a judge.  Nope.  This time round I decided to bake 8 dozen cupcakes.  It was … an interesting experience… to say the least.

I’d hummed and hawed over what to bake.  Try something different?  Or go with an old classic?  In the end, I twisted up a favourite – marble cupcake became apple spice – chocolate marble cupcakes (with maple buttercream) – and while I was at it, I figured I might as well enter the best tasting cupcake contest.

My cupcakes helped the Montréal event raise over $31,000 (and sell over 20,000 cupcakes… insanity)… when I say that the room was packed – I mean, I was a sardine, and I wasn’t in a very large can :0)

Wanna know about my day?  It was… AWESOME!

It was completely and utterly different from the Ottawa Capital Cupcake Camp :

1.  I didn’t have to taste over 100 cupcakes.

2.  I wasn’t the one picking winners and losers – I just got to take it all in

3.  I randomly ran into friends of mine (the Brassard women – whom I LOVE)

and finally…

4.  I met Chuck Hughes (you know… from Chuck’s Day Off on the food network) – he was super cool and we’re now twitter friends :0)

The day started off with me packing the cupcakes into Vanessa’s car (yes… I am lucky enough to have friends drive me to Montréal at 8 am on a Sunday morning… seriously, I have fantastic friends) and us dropping them off at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth’s loading dock in order for volunteers to place them in the ballroom.

Done.

By 1 pm we were heading back to the hotel to line up and purchase our tickets (one 10$ donation got us 3 cupcakes and a coffee).

And that’s when my jaw dropped.

There were hundreds of people.  And those were just the people ahead of us in line.  If you’ve even been to the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth – picture this:  the line ended at the front entrance – winding its way all through the main corridor, back outside, looping around at the Amex building.  Seriously … we had to wait outside for about 20 minutes… only to get back inside and wait some more.

No lies.  Montréalers take their cupcakes seriously.  As in … really seriously.

I don’t know what I thought it would be like when we got inside – but it wasn’t this.  Holy heck!  SO MANY PEOPLE AND SO MANY CUPCAKES.

You could feel the excitement in the room – amazing – but you also couldn’t really move around very easily – not so amazing.  People politely shoved other people in order to make it to the tables, slowly shuffling around, asking questions of the bakers and volunteers.

I took as many pictures as I could with my camera given (1) the lack of breathing room or personal space and (2) the fact that my hands were pretty full (you are provided with a cupcake box when you donate your money).

Cool eh?

I won’t lie – I was pretty excited when I looked up and saw Chuck Hughes taking pictures with people and chatting.

He (along with Ricardo) was among the panel of judges.  I was able to get close enough to say hello, tell him that his barbecued baby back ribs recipe is one of my favourites.  I then told him he should check out The Whalesbone in Ottawa.  Yeah … I did that.  It was AWESOME.

After a couple of hours in line and among the mob, Vanessa, Nicola (another friend who attended with us), and I decided to sit down, enjoy one of our cupcakes and then head home.

Nicola loved hers.  Vanessa’s was pretty darn amazing, and mine was… ok.  Fantastic frosting, over-baked, dry cake.

Sigh.  Perhaps you can take the girl away from the judges table, but you can’t take the judging out of the girl!

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4 thoughts on “cupcake camp … part deux

  1. I doubt very much your cupcakes were dry.

    That said, dibs on the roast chicken/turkey cupcake! Beautiful!

    Thanks for the great re-cap of the Montreal event.

    Continually amazed by how active you are food-wise! This weekend, I could barely get out of bed, let alone bake 8 dozen cupcakes or goto Montreal at 8:00 am!

  2. I can’t imagine attending such a crowded event! Amazing that so many people turned out. Thank God you weren’t a judge in this one! Your cupcake entered sounds and looks wonderful.

  3. Thanks for a lovely day, Lynne! It was great to re-connect with you. I’m excited to check out The Whalesbone next time I’m in Ottawa.

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