Last year in 2015, Downtown Los Angeles hosted the first annual Cookie Con & Sweets Show, the West Coast’s biggest baking and pastry convention. I was hoping to attend, but tickets were sold out well before I was able to snag any.
This year I was smarter and purchased my tickets well in advance. Not only is Cookie Con a super sweets extravaganza, but the Decorators’ Showcase competition also helps to raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the process.
So this year, tickets in hand, I was ready to see what all this cookie commotion was really about. I arrived in downtown Los Angeles a few hours before the convention began, and I picked up my friend, Stacy.
We could not think of a better way to begin a day of sweet excess, than by stopping at Bottega Louie, a bakery and restaurant just a few blocks away from the convention center.
We arrived at the cafe an hour before they opened. The maitre ‘d at the reception desk, stood next to a beautiful floral arrangement (above) and shook his head no in slow motion as we approached. We then turned back to the bakery to look at the cases filled with beautiful pastries and gift items.
We left Bottega Louie and drove through the maze of parking at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We knew that a portion of the West Hall of the conference center was devoted to all things sugary. So when we first arrived, we were surprised by the limited demographic of cookie conference attendees. However, we soon realized that we had actually stumbled into the Black College Expo Tour, so at least that explained the mysterious lack of baked goods.
We must report that Cookie-Con is still working out the kinks of managing a large crowd. With tickets in hand, we still waited in line for over an hour. Luckily we were not in a hurry and happy to chat, so we weren’t cranky. I can’t say the same for everyone who waited in line. We were also able to get a cute doughnut selfie once we checked in. It’s hard to be grumpy holding a large, pink, inflatable donut.
We saw that our beloved Kake Kreations store from the valley had a nice large booth at the convention, so we stopped to ask them about future classes. They have great deals on classes and a huge inventory of supplies, if you happen to be in the mood to improve your cake or cookie decorating skills.
We walked up and down the rows of exhibitors tasting cookies and cotton candy and rice krispie treats as we pressed through the crowd of fellow nibblers.
There was a row of Decorator’s Showcase and Dessert Buffet sweets which were all competing for the title of World Champion. There were impressive entries, including an Alice of Wonderland cake, a Circus cake, and several dessert buffet tables.
On the main stage, several people were scheduled to speak. At noon, we saw actress Sarah Michelle Gellar talk about Foodstirs, a company she co-founded, which sells creative baking kits for the whole family.
The highlight of the day was a visit from Duff Goldman, of Charm City Cakes West. He made a huge cake that we were all given slices of, and it was wheeled out with great fanfare.
On the other stages there were baking demos and discussions about healthy baking. Gluten free options were a big presence in the show, as well as antioxidant and probiotic additions.
Shortly after our Duff’s cake, Stacy and I began feeling a sugar coma coming on. I deliriously pulled up the @motivationforfitness Instagram account. We stoically scrolled through the pictures of flat abs and lean muscles, until we felt we could keep ourselves from falling down the chocolate rabbit hole forever.
The next Cookie-Con is scheduled for February 17-19, 2017. Mark your calendars!
377 days until next Cookie-Con!
328 days to go on The List!