Undercooked: "Ace of Cakes"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Sure, she's learned a lot as office manager at Charm City Cakes, the Baltimore bakery whose extreme pastry designs have been featured on the Food Network's "Ace of Cakes" since 2006.

But she doesn't get hands-on with the baking or decorating and, in fact, she doesn't really like to eat cake.

"Working in a bakery and smelling it all day, you just sort of lose your taste for it, and I've never really had a sweet tooth," Yeskey said.

But when she's in Columbus on Sunday with co-star Geof Manthorne, the duo will debate over the winner of the Professional Wedding Cake Competition at the Central Ohio Home & Garden Show.

"Especially since this is a professional contest, the level of what they're doing - they're on the same level we are," she said. "When we were in Des Moines, we judged a contest where there were cakes that had skills beyond ours. It's like, 'Holy cow, these people are so talented.' "

Yeskey's own wedding cake, ironically, wasn't one she chose. Charm City Cakes founder and owner Duff Goldman always offers to make the cake for staffers' weddings, but under one condition - they don't get to see it until the reception.

"It was scandalously crimson red, which shocked my very conservative family, and it was awesome," she said. "I was delighted."

In addition to judging the contest, Yeskey and Manthorne will take the Home Idea Center Stage at 11:30 a.m. Sunday to answer questions from the show's fans, who invariably want to know about Charm City's biggest, most expensive, most time-consuming and most disastrous cakes, Yeskey said.

"A lot of times, you go to food shows and some famous chef from the Food Network will be appearing, and they can take 45 minutes and make a complete meal," she said. "That's really impossible for us, because what we do takes five or six days."

In addition to meeting celebrity guests, show-goers can take in all sorts of indoor and outdoor decor tips. Cooking, gardening and home-improvement presentations by local experts are planned daily.

The annual event's theme this year, "Art in Bloom," is inspiring everything from the 15 living landscapes designed by Columbus landscapers to the tools and accessories available from the vendors that will fill the Expo Center.

What: Central Ohio Home & Garden Show

When: Through March 7

Where: Ohio Expo Center

Web: dispatchevents.com