ICES in Wonderland!


It’s June which means summer has officially arrived. In the cake decorating world, summertime brings the annual ICES convention! YAY! The ICES convention is an important yearly tradition for the ISAC team; Chef Nicholas first came to the US in the 1980s to teach and demonstrate at an ICES convention. Chef Nicholas has been a fixture at the yearly event since then. After opening the International Sugar Art Collection, there has always been a vendor booth at the convention as well. The 2018 ICES convention in Cincinnati, Ohio will be no different. Chef Nicholas is teaching, and we will have our world-famous vendor booth for loads of retail therapy. 

This year the convention will be held July 26-29, and registration is already open. The theme this year is just wonderful… or rather WONDERLAND! The Mad Hatter of Batter is running the show, and there will be two fun cake hat themed events. There is the Mad About Hats Cake Challenge; in this event, all competitors must decorate a hat shaped cake of the exact same dimensions! The cake can be a dummy, rice treats, or real cake- as long as the cake is within the specified dimensions, it qualifies. The hat is similar in shape to the icon Mad Hatter Hat, and can be decorated in any style (whimsical, steampunk, Victorian). It is absolutely free to register for this competition, but you MUST pre-register on the convention website. There are adult (18+) and teen (13-17) divisions, and both will be judged with the same criteria. If you want to make a little hat cake, but don’t want to enter the judged competition, you certainly may! You can register as a non-judged, regular sharing display. If you would like to buy a pre-made dummy, you can find information on the wesite. To register visit the events page on the ICES convention website here.

Dimensions and specifications for t he Mad About Hats Cake Challenge.

If you want to make a bigger, bolder hat… a real statement piece, then the Wonderland of Hats Competition Fashion Show is for you! Only 25 entries will be accepted to partake in an edible hat fashion show! Channel your inner sugar milliner and design and create fondant fedora or a sugar flower covered floppy hat. The design possibilities are endless. The hats must be at least 75% edible, with exception being the structure of the hat used for construction. The entries must fit into an 18inch square area, and must be displayed on a stand, but there is no height restrictions. How high will your hat go?! Entrants may compete as an individual or team. I had to admit, I am very intrigued by this fashion show. Edible fashions shows have been on the scene for a while now, but I think an edible hat fashion show is pretty out of the (cake) box. I cannot wait to see the 25 competitors come up with. Oh, and don’t forget that you will need a model to wear your edible hat during the fashions show- make sure you find the right person! To register for the Wonderland of Hats Competition Fashion show, click here.

If you are more interested in learning over competing, well you’ll be pleased to hear that there at 50+ instructors teaching 73 classes over five days! There will be something that interests you, no matter what your style of cake decorating may be. Chef Nicholas will be teaching a demo: Create Gumpaste Roses and Leather Leaf Ferns like a Pro. There is no better person to learn sugar roses from, so if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of taking a class with Chef Nicholas, this is your chance!

As always, there is a block of rooms with special pricing (don’t miss this great deal, book early!). This year brings the first ever Sugar Business Forum. According to the ICES Convention website this will be an exciting event:


“Our guest speaker for the inaugural Sugar Business Forum Breakfast will be Roxanne Roberts, longtime Washington Post columnist and regular panelist on the NPR radio news quiz “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me…”. The focus of her presentation will be Cake in the News, both in current events and in suggested ways to help you interact with the media and have your OWN creations featured in the news, for all the RIGHT reasons.

Roxanne brings a unique perspective to the conversation as both a veteran journalist and as someone who also dabbles in the Sugar Arts. Not only is Roxanne a member of the Cake and Sugar Artists of Northern Virginia (CASANOVA), she is also a member of ICES.”

I am a total NPR nerd, and I love “Wait, wait… Don’t tell me…” and I am very familiar with Roxanne Roberts tenure on that show… I am pretty bummed out to be missing this event! You should all go to the Sugar Business Forum on my behalf! The 2018 ICES Convention certainly sounds like a Wonderland; there are many new and exciting events taking place, and so many different classes and demos to try out! Chef Nicholas and Scott can’t wait to see you all there! 

Upcoming Classes at ISAC:

There are still seats available in these great classes this summer at ISAC! Click the links below to register now. 

Renshaw Academy Royal Icing Module

Hanging Handbag with Mayen Orido

The Boombox Cake with Mayen Orido

Renshaw Academy Sugar Flower Module


Sweetly yours, 


Nicholas Lodge Amazon


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2017 Finalist Cake Masters Awards Cake Hero

2017 Finalist for the Cake Masters Cake Hero Award

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Chef Nicholas Lodge: 2015 Finalist for the Cake Masters Cake Hero Award



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