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The BIG Cake Show will take Exeter by storm

PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 September 2013 | UPDATED: 15:01 26 September 2013

Mel Edwards and Kim Vernon

Mel Edwards and Kim Vernon

MATT AUSTIN

The event will take place in 2014 at Westpoint Arena, with stars of The Great British Bake Off confirmed as guests

As Britain tightened its belt for an era of austerity, two Devon women saw the potential for expanding the region’s events waistline with The BIG Cake Show; a baking event to rival other UK shows. The event reflects what the region has to offer in cooking, decorating, supplying and, most importantly, enjoying and eating cake!

Cake, in one form or another, has been around for centuries. From its humble beginnings as flattened, hardened bread, the concept of ‘cake’ has changed significantly to become an essential part of British culinary identity. In very recent years, the likes of silver-fox Paul Hollywood and the first lady of baking, Mary Berry, have stirred up a frenzy of the country’s best amateur bakers to battle it out in the BBC TV show The Great British Bake Off reigniting a passion for home baking, spiking sales of British bake ware and earning its producers tens of millions.

Kim Vernon and Mel Edwards are two women who are causing a bake sensation of their own. They are the driving force behind the much talked about three day event, The BIG Cake Show, which is coming to Exeter’s Westpoint Arena from 28-30 March 2014.

Mel has a 5-year-old daughter and 13-year-old step-son, while Kim is mum to a 9- and a 6-year-old and is three-quarters of the way through her psychology degree. After over 25 years of friendship that started at primary school, the two best friends now work together running successful event management company MK Events. The BIG Cake Show is a dream coming to reality, fuelled by encouragement from South West baking enthusiasts and professionals as well as their own families; in fact the gathering momentum behind the idea has surprised even them.

Kim says: “Masterchef and The Great British Bake-Off have become some of the most talked about television shows every year. Millions of viewers tune in to watch the judges critique the calibre of contestants’ cupcakes and cookies; the fate of biscuits and brownies has become matters of the utmost importance at water coolers up and down the country. With the excitement behind these programmes and a steady growth in the sales of baking equipment, cookbooks and kitchen-table cake businesses it became clear to us that the region lacked an event to bring the love of cake into one place.”

Cake-making groups are rapidly becoming the new book clubs, with members meeting regularly to swap recipe ideas and sample each other’s offerings. Women’s Institute memberships have reached 211,000, its highest level since the 1970s – all inspired by Britain’s love of baking. The BIG Cake Show has found that their social media presence on has inspired the sharing of recipes, the tweeting of photographs displaying the latest cakey creation, and a range of household names all showing their support for the new show. Already confirmed to appear at the show are Mary Berry, Gregg Wallace, Phil Vickery, Edd Kimber and Stacie Stewart, with more to be announced soon.

Mel says: “The South West has such a rich offering of great nationally and locally known chefs and bakers, cake artisans, patisserie expertise; the event is for all of them – for the sugar-crafter to the cupcake entrepreneur, from the celebrity chefs to budding young bakers and enthusiastic eaters; an easily accessible show that provides a mixing bowl of treats and pleasure. We are lucky enough to have a couple of very famous faces lined up too!”

The event is attracting sponsorships both locally and nationally and will host over 120 exhibitors of all shapes and sizes. There will be show kitchens, pre-bookable workshops, meet and greets with British Bake Off Stars, interactive opportunities, children’s kitchens, competitions, book signings and other special events that are being kept under icing for now!

www.thebigcakeshow.com

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