West Long Branch: The "Team Five" chefs took the top tally of the five teams in this year's Cupcakes War at Shore Regional High on Thursday. Close behind the champs was the "Sweet Lou and the Firemen Gang" which pulled out a strong Second Place after a few flour faux pas were tastefully well done.
Third went to the "Midnight Baking Crew" and Fourth place medals went to "Tiki Torch Trio". Last but by no means was a baking bust the "Baker Gang". Judges admittedly had a touch selection decision but they all were delighted to be a part of it all, their reward being the chance to sample all the oven artistry.
"Team Five" was Katie, Emma, Olivia, Nick and Talia - baking Vegetarian Tacos and Grapefruit Yogurt cupcakes. They were palate pleasers as well as "Presentation" perfectionists (eye appeal), the judges said. Hosting the event was teacher Chef A. Dean Esposito with assists from Tracey Anders and Grace Anne Bertolami - plus a hand or two by others as needed.
The judges were French Teacher Alice Simonson, Cake Designer Abbey Lanz from Cake, Bake & Roll of Long Branch, Shore HS Librarian Katlyn Nesi and Will Johnson from Scala's Pizzeria in Long Branch. Support to the event came also from the Cupcake Magician and Fa Nagle the Bagle.
The "Sweet Lou ..." team was made up by Ryan, "J.T.", Matt and Mason who did Pina Coladas and Strawberry Lemonade cakes. "Tiki Torch ..." were Julianne, Molly, and Grace baking Lime Margaritas and Coconut Crème Pie. "Black Bean" and "Tropical Breeze" cupcakes came from the trio of Jake, Danielle and Michael, the "Midnight Bakers". John, Jared B. and Jared C. plus Christian comprised the "Baker Gang" cupcake challengers.
The challenge is fun and also delivers experience in team work, leadership, confidence to try new things, planning and organizing, and determination to see things through to successful completion. "Life skills" that will serve the students well in days ahead.