Bedford baker wins $43k in cash and prizes, as well as shot at world cake-maker titleBy MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader October 04. 2017 12:34AM
A Bedford baker won a national competition of wedding cake design on Sunday, a feat that sets New Hampshire’s cake boss up for an international contest in Milan, Italy, later this month.
Bryson Perkins, owner of Triolo’s Bakery, said he put about 350 hours of work into “Eau de Romance,” a three-tiered cake inspired by limited-edition Shalimar perfume bottles. It won top prize Sunday in the Grand National Wedding Cake Competition, which is part of the annual Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show.
“I guess I live for the art. It presents different challenges, so many techniques and mediums,” said Perkins, a native Hawaiian who opened Triolo’s nearly five years ago.
His website boasts colorfully frosted cakes shaped like a macaw parrot, an iguana and an elaborately decorated skull for the celebratory Day of the Dead.
In two weeks, he departs for the Cake Designers World Championship in Milan, where he will have to cook up an entry to fit the theme of coffee and chocolate.
The Oklahoma event is in its 24th year. It was founded and is directed by Kerry Vincent, a former “Food Network Challenge” judge and current host of Food Network’s “Save My Bakery.”
“The cake itself was exquisitely done,” Vincent said. Last year, Perkins finished fifth in the competition. At the time, Vincent said, she advised him that his technical skills were stellar, but he had to bring soul to his work.
His entry is a three-tiered, tapered creation with main colors of white and a sky blue that form a floral Victorian design. The creation is topped with a gold-colored dome. The bottom layer features a lace-like border.
Vincent said it’s a piece of art that makes a person stop and examine it.
“He left no detail undone,” Vincent said, noting that Perkins urged admirers to view it from all angles — even from underneath — to observe the detail.
First place came with a cash prize of $27,000 as well as $16,000 in products.
Perkins said the “internal structure” — the cake part — is made of a plastic foam material. The external design comprises thousands of sugar sequins that he fashioned out of sugar gum paste.
As part of the Milan competition, he will also have to bake a cake; taste will count for 30 percent of the eventual score. The Milan competition runs Oct. 23 and 24.
Vincent said cake design has come a long way since the early 1990s, when the Food Network started pushing designs that require rolled fondant and sugar gum paste, flexible material that pushed cake competition to its present-day limits.
“Cake is a celebration,” Perkins said. “Cake is just an all-around happy medium to work with.”