WMAW: “Whatever you think the standard is, it will be 10 times higher”

first_imgElaine Hamey on winning the Celebration Cake Business of the Year category two decades after she last collected the award.Winning Celebration Cake Business of the Year 2018, 20 years since she last did so, was “fantastic”, exclaims Elaine Hamey.“I’ve won the award twice before, when working for other cake shops, but winning for my own business was incredible,” she tells British Baker.The winning cake, a realistic vision of an under-the-sea scene, took the cake artist 90 hours to perfect, working into the early hours around last summer’s World Cup and heatwave.“I wasn’t confident I’d win and I don’t think you ever should be – there are so many great artists out there,” says Hamey, adding that, even after seeing the other shortlisted cakes at the judging at Renshaw’s head office, she had no idea if she would be victorious.What made her cake stand out from the others, believes Hamey, was how realistic it looked. She spent time getting the sea creatures – a turtle, octopus and crab – as realistic as possible, taking inspiration from pictures in books.“A few of the finalists had done more caricature-type styles, with mermaids and mermen, whereas I’d gone right down under the water.”Immediately after learning she had won the award, Hamey called home to give the good news to her mother and friend, who work with her as bakers. “They were over the moon,” she says. “They knew how much work had gone into it.”With a small team of family and friends working at her business in Manchester, Hamey puts its success down to offering the personal touch.“When someone walks through the door, you have to make them feel important, make them feel it’s a really a special occasion whether they’re ordering a small cake to say thank you to a friend or a wedding cake,” she says.Hamey adds that it is important to guide customers with expertise and professionalism.“Particularly with wedding cakes, people come in with all sorts of ideas, but if you know what will work, you should tell them,” she says. “And always have a smile on your face – it costs nothing!”For those thinking about entering the awards this year, Hamey says “just go for it!”She does, however warn, of the time and effort it takes to create a Baking Industry Award-winning cake.“Whatever you think the standard is, it will be 10 times higher.“Don’t do something and think it’ll do, take it off and do it again to the best of your ability,” she says.“But, you have to go for it. Don’t think you’re not good enough; if you don’t try, you can’t win.”Sponsor’s comment“Renshaw is proud of our continued support of the Celebration Cake Business and, this year, we had more entrants than ever before!It’s a testament to the hard work and true inspiration of our customers that the standard of this category continues to grow.Elaine Hamey from Elaine’s Creative Cakes is truly passionate about our industry and along with other finalists worked so hard to create spectacular oceanic-themed celebration cakes. Independent judge Zoe Hopkinson said: “Elaine used a great combination of products in creating her cake, with colour and textures that helped bring the finished piece alive.”Simon Mortimer, managing director, Renshawlast_img read more

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Reform the road to economic recovery

first_img Read Full Story As Congress and the White House begin trading proposals on the contours of what a fourth COVID-19 relief package might look like, Stephen Goldsmith, the Daniel Paul Professor of Practice at Harvard Kennedy School and the director of the Ash Center’s Government Innovation’s Program, says that the nation’s infrastructure needs to take center stage  In a recently released memo to policymakers, Goldsmith outlines key recommendations for the pending stimulus legislation and calls on Washington to radically rethink how it delivers large scale infrastructure projects. Goldsmith, a former mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana and leading expert in public-private partnerships and government procurement reform, argues that policymakers, “need to take advantage of this moment in time to ease the barriers to more efficiently and quickly get many of these projects off the ground.” In his memo, Goldsmith makes the case that the White House and Congress, “should consider infrastructure investment both as a way to create jobs and as a bridge to the future, literally and figuratively.” Citing the country’s massive infrastructure deficit, which can be seen in the nation’s increasingly potholed roads, rickety transit systems, and antiquated wastewater infrastructure, Goldsmith argues that cities are on the precipice of a true infrastructure crisis. “Cities will face an enormously difficult path forward as their tax revenues are likely to continue to collapse for one to two years after the end of the pandemic — even under more optimistic economic forecasting scenarios,” he wrote. Goldsmith argues that lawmakers and the White House should not just pass infrastructure funding, but help expedite the permitting and approval process for projects; resist the urge to clutter a legislative package with a bevy of new federal mandates; encourage states to a adopt design, build, and operate contracts that accelerate project delivery; and incentivize public–private partnerships to quickly and more affordably construct schools and hospitals.  Goldsmith also urges lawmakers to think beyond traditional perceptions of what constitutes infrastructure spending to include such priorities as broadband, housing, and municipal debt support to help cities in general and less advantaged communities more specifically.  “During this excruciating time, infrastructure investment will produce jobs but also build a foundation for the future that will improve operations, assist local economies, and more fully engage urban residents,” he said. “We can’t let bureaucracy stand in the way of this crucial effort.“ last_img read more

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