WMAW: “It’s recognised by others in the industry, so it’s very special”

Winning a Baking Industry Award for celebration cakes is no mean feat, and winning one multiple times is a truly incredible achievement.

But Terry Tang’s attention to detail, talent and tenacity saw his business, Terry Tang Designer Cakes, walk away with the trophy again last year.

The themes of the award have ranged from Rio Carnival to Around The World and, in 2017, the Wild West. This inspired Terry and daughter Leanne to create a two-tiered masterpiece with 360-degree decoration, made from marzipan, sugarpaste and royal icing (skills all entrants were asked to demonstrate).

The cake, which is still on display in the Terry Tang Designer Cakes shop on Picton Road in Wavertree, Liverpool, has a square base and a different Wild West scene on each side: a Tombstone jail, blacksmith’s livery stables, the Western Union railway station and the Deadwood saloon. The roof of these merges into a rock face featuring symbols of the US including a black bear, a bald eagle, a white wolf, two cowboys and two Native Americans.

“We don’t do anything by half,” laughs shop manager (and Terry’s wife) Carol Tang. “The judging is right during our peak season, so it’s very much a labour of love with early mornings and late nights.”

“The key is in the detail,” Carol says. “For as long as I’ve known Terry, he’s been a perfectionist. He ices every cake in the shop regardless of whether it’s a £30 birthday cake or an £800 one.

”Having three wins under your belt doesn’t mean you’re a shoo-in, and Carol admits to feeling nervous on the awards night, although Terry remained quietly confident.

“Getting the award was just as exciting as the first time,” Carol adds. “It’s recognised by others in the industry who do the same job, so it’s very special. It’s a wonderful accolade to have.”

And, the accolades continue to gather interest on social media, with Carol noting thousands of hits on the bakery’s Facebook page following the awards in September.

As per the rules, Terry Tang Designer Cakes won’t be able to enter the Celebration Cake category of the 2018 Baking Industry Awards, but Carol offers up some advice from those who are considering doing so.

“The finish has got to be perfect and full of detail. Make sure you stick to the guidelines but also, give up enough time to do it – if you just expect to throw something together, you’ll never get anywhere.”

Sponsor’s comment

“Renshaw is very proud to have sponsored the Celebration Cake Business of the Year category consecutively for the last 13 years,” says Simon Mortimer, managing director at Renshaw.

“Every year we are impressed with the calibre of entries we receive. It is great to judge as we get to meet some incredible talent, with amazing ideas on how to interpret the theme for
the design.”

John Slattery, BIA Celebration Cake Business category judge and owner of Manchester-based Slattery Patissier & Chocolatier, adds: “Leanne and Terry Tang produced an outstanding 360-degree design, which was well structured, used a variety of techniques to bring the cake to life and incorporated excellent use of colour.”

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