Saturday, October 16, 2010
Cupcake Love In
Scene: It's October 10, 2010 and I do not feel well. To put it mildly, I had just a bit too much fun at the Arizona Taco Festival the day before, and my stomach is letting me know that it does not approve.
Under normal circumstances, I would sit home, rest, and watch some football. Unfortunately for my stomach, I have entered myself into the Cupcake Love In Cupcake Eating Competition and my digestive tract is in for another round of severe punishment
We arrived at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale with plenty of time to wander around and take in all of the amazing cupcakes that the seemingly dozens of bakeries had to offer. I desperately wanted to try several of the offerings, including a Guinness cupcake and a red curry coconut cupcake, but I was singular minded, and I knew that anything I ate now would detract from my ultimate purpose, which was to stuff as many cupcakes in my face as possible in three minutes.
I'll admit, I was nervous, I was taking this event seriously, and I can put away some cupcakes, or as I like to say, "I can eat", but this was an all star line up of competitors. There was Jeff Kraus of Truckin Good Food, Chef James Porter of Petite Maison, Chef Wade Moises of Adobe Restaurant, and Zach Fowle writer for the Phoenix New Times. This was an intimidating line up and I knew I was not on my 'A' game, but driving me was the overwhelming desire to win.
I had trained for this day, yes trained. And, oh, the training was hard. For weeks I had been baking cupcakes and then doing time trials eating them. Then I would bake more and do more time trials. It was one of the most strenuos training regimens any man could possibly endure, except for, well, any other training regimen ever."Why?", you ask? Well, why not. It was a competition, and someone has to win. But now the day was finally here, and all the training looked to be for naught since my stomach was revolting on me.
When the event was mere moments away, we took the stage and were told that the competition had been cut from three minutes to two. The struck a direct blow to my strategy of longevity since I figured that third minute would be the make or break moment. But, c'est la vie, I thought (ok, fine, I tried unsuccessfully to get the third minute added back on), let's do this thing! I was lighthearted at first, but just before the countdown started, I zoned in and blocked everyone else out. It kind of scares me to see the look on my face at that moment.
Now, Zach Fowle gives a great blow by blow account of the different cupcakes he ate and his thought process as he was grabbing them and the time was running, but as for me, I know I has at least one red velvet, and a carrot cake, and I'm sure there was chocolate, and I tasted a lot cream cheese frosting, but as far as what I ate, in what order, I haven't the slightest clue.
That two minutes was nothing but a blur of cupcakes, frosting and water. I was aware of the emcee announcing our time cues, 1 minute left, 30 seconds, 20 seconds, 10, 9, 8...
I finished the cupcake in my hand and crammed one last cupcake in as the time ran out.
When the crumbs had settled and the frosting was wiped away, I started counting cupcake wrappers and realized I had managed to destroy ten cupcakes in two minutes. I was satisfied with that result but definitely not confident, especially when I heard that Jeff Kraus got eight down. But after recounting the wrappers and looking around and seeing everone staring at me, it struck me that I had won.
I was the Cupcake King.