The arrival of warm weather and long days are sure signs that the wedding season is upon us. As the season shifts into high gear, we thought we’d check in on what’s hot and happening food-wise in the world of weddings. A whole lot, it turns out. Be assured the old rubber-chicken buffet clichés no longer apply. All the excitement of the contemporary food scene — street foods, far-flung flavors, techno-wizardry, updated retro classics, etc. — is coming to the party. There’s a lot less “continental” stuffiness and, ironically, far more sophistication and worldliness. A new adventurousness and license to have fun is unmistakably in evidence, allowing couples more room to personalize and invent. Wedding food is no longer something to endure; increasingly it is becoming another part of the evening’s entertainment.
Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. She joins us on the FN Dish each week to recap all the sweet details of the competition from her seat at the judges’ table. Here’s what she had to say about last night’s episode, Wedding Planner.
If I had a fledgling bakery, I would kill to get in front of someone like Mindy Weiss. She’s planned every A-list wedding in Hollywood. On last night’s episode, Mindy came to help crown the next Cupcake Wars winner, so the stakes for these bakers were high.
In fact, the pressure for Melissa proved too much, and my heart went out to her when her caramel bottle exploded in round one and she was unable to complete the challenge. Florian and I applauded her for having the instinct to take a risk and work with an exotic and memorable ingredient like saffron, but when we received our cupcakes without frosting, we had no choice but to send her home.
Round two was similarly clear-cut. Sheila did not put her best foot forward, with decorations better suited for a casual shower than an elegant wedding. However, in round three, our jobs weren’t so easy. Both Jean and Andrea’s displays were beautiful. Andrea’s screamed outdoor wedding and rustic wine country elegance whereas Jean’s possessed a contemporary zen, perfect for a high-end hotel ballroom.
Florian, Mindy and I had to deliberate for longer than normal, but in the end, the lush colors and personalized cupcakes as well as her consistent theme throughout the day meant Andrea was the winner!
Bake up a batch of Andrea’s winning Raspberry Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream Frosting and check out FoodNetwork.com for more about Cupcake Wars, plus dozens of our best cupcake recipes.