Ode To Abu

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Baker Showcase Part Deux!

South India has finally got its own Baker Street. Its one of my favourite songs! How cool that it now reminds me of another one of my passions – from music to food.

The year 2012 has seen home-bakers burst onto the baking scene with a bang! They are creating their own tunes and making waves across print and social media. So far, the two Baker Showcases organized and conducted by Facebook (FB) group ‘Home Bakers Guild’ (HBG) at Chennai and Bangalore in June and August respectively, have been runaway successes. The growing number of home-bakers in these two cities and across India is not just humming softly in their kitchens, but belting out their creations for the entire world to see, smell, taste, hear and read about!

Conceptualized by KP Balakumar and Nanditha Sashidaran -- the former a foodie, and the latter a baker, a platform called the Home Bakers Guild or HBG as it is popularly known on Facebook, was created. 

KP is a food blogger himself and after meeting and writing about Chennai city's home-bakers, realised the need for a forum that focussed exclusively on baking. Hence HBG was founded with the intention to let the world know of the unsung existence of the many talented home-bakers and the fact that home bakers can match up to the best commercial bakeries in variety, quality and talent. It is also a platform for home-bakers to connect with each other, no matter where they are located. HBG serves as a space for home-bakers as well as baking enthusiasts to share recipes, tips, and baking experiences. 

Contrary to popular opinion that all home-bakers are women, there are quite a few male members who also bake and share interesting tidbits of information on the forum. The group has grown exponentially in a matter of months and every event sees its member count shoot up. The current stats show a figure of nearly 2500 members, which is sure to increase once the upcoming event rolls around the corner. From 700 members around the 1st Showcase in June, HBG is now one of the most popular FB groups in Chennai - literally the cream of the crop!

The Baker Showcase (the name is self-explanatory) is HBG’s signature event and is held on a quarterly basis in each city. The first one caused a near stampede in the Adyar area and it’s going to be worth a watch to witness the second dessert storm that’s all set to hit Chennai shores on October 13th, 2012.

The FB page for the event is abuzz with photos of drool-worthy baked goodies coupled with enticing captions written by the home-bakers themselves –- sort of a pre-showcase of the actual Showcase itself. Event-goers are practically fighting amongst themselves to come up with witty and zany comments to get first dibs on freebies and goodie bags from the home-bakers. There is a growing clamour for pre-booking and advance orders! Its total cake mania! FB definitely has astrological forecasting abilities; after all it started the addictive games FarmVille, CakeVille, CafĂ© World et al. Today’s trends are all about organic farming, baking, starting a restaurant – the world revolves around food, food and more food!

Besides the Baker Showcase, HBG also conducted a competitive talent-hunt event called Bake for Sandy’s in July this year. Starting out as a ‘chocolate laboratory’ that highlighted chocolate-based desserts, Sandy's now also offers gourmet meals at their chain of restaurants in Chennai. Five winning baked items were chosen at the event and the home-bakers who created them enjoyed the honour of displaying and offering their creations at the chain of restaurants owned by Sandy’s, which include Ox & Tomato and Fresca’s. HBG and Sandy’s have devised a unique arrangement to promote the talents of home-bakers by displaying their names on the menu, alongside their delicious desserts and gluttony goodies. HBG added another feather to its cap with this novel event, which has succeeded in boosting the confidence of home-bakers by giving them more opportunities and helping them go retail.

The 2nd Chennai Bakers Showcase is now awaited with bated breath after much ink in print, mouse clicks on blogspace, talk shows on radio etc., have touted its entry into Chennai’s growing  food community. 

The rumbling of tummies can be heard all the way up to the venue already! Check out the Baker Showcase 2 FB event page for continuous tongue-salivating photos, contests, giveaways and other updates! 

This is where it all began: HBG

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