Edible Book Festival returns to Ivy Tech Fort Wayne following pandemic
The Edible Book Festival has been celebrated in various parts of the world since 2000. Participants create and display edible books, before the creations are then consumed.
At Ivy Tech, this festival has been going on for years, but took a break during the pandemic. Now, it’s returned and participants filled the gymnasium at the North Campus with cakes, cookies, cupcakes and even jams created with their favorite books in mind.
Melinda Allen is a cake designer at Walmart. She says she’s been participating in the Edible Book Festival for 13 years.
“And I was so heartbroken when COVID came," Allen said. "It’s one of the events I look forward to all year.”
Allen says she begins picking out a book and planning her entry for next year as soon as she’s finished with this year’s. Before COVID, she had already had a book picked out, but she ended up choosing a new one.
“I think about it all year," she said.
‘Bake Me a Cat Cake’ by Kim-Joy was Allen’s inspiration this year. The book, which releases later this month, contains 50 cat-themed recipes, but Allen’s cat cakes and cupcakes were all her own recipe and design, which won her the best design award.
“And this was actually after my daughter’s kitty; Cherry,” Allen said of one of her three cat cakes.
Another participant, Victoria Gumbert, spent a weekend baking her cake and accompanying mini cupcakes based off of ‘Where’s Waldo?’
"And my interpretation is Waldo finds himself because I feel like meditation is a really big movement right now," she said.
Gumbert’s cake is a round globe that sits about a foot tall with Waldo sitting on a meditation pillow perched on top. Gumbert won the award for funniest design with her cake.
The festival brings together professional bakers and home bakers alike to test their skill at bringing a page of any book to life. Gumbert is a hairdresser by trade, but has taken on baking in her free time.
“So, this is just a hobby for me and this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this,” she said.
More than 200 people filled the gymnasium to see and taste all the edible books and vote on the winners. The award for Best Tasting went to Destinee Todoroff, who made a chocolate cake inspired by the one described in the book ‘Matilda.’