Ode To Abu

Friday, 21 June 2013

Baker Showcase 1st Anniversary Edition

Four months since my last coverage of the Home Bakers Guild (HBG) Baker Showcase and it is strangely exciting and familiar at the same time. Exciting since this 6th edition of the Baker Showcase (4 in Chennai after 2 in Bangalore) is at a new location – the gorgeously green outdoors at Sandy’s. 

Starting out as a gourmet dessert lounge, Sandy’s has grown and diversified in the last couple of years. The city’s first ‘chocolate laboratory’ – their initial tag line - had helped organise a bake-off competition last year to select prize-winning desserts made by home-bakers. These were showcased at restaurants such as Fresca and Ox & Tomato for a month with due recognition given to the bakers who had made them.

Once again ready to encourage fresh talent and appreciate quality, Sandy’s new Cenotaph Road location is all set to host the event on their turf tomorrow (22nd June, 2013). Their lovely garden area is a perfect, picturesque setting to the quarterly Baker Showcase event.

Pics courtesy Sandy's

What makes this edition of the Baker Showcase even more unique is the fact that it also marks the completion of 1 year of HBG's existence. Some well-known baking and cooking enthusiasts are participating this time and hence the event is titled – League of Legends. Most of them have participated in earlier Baker Showcase events, own established baking businesses, and have featured in the press. These ladies sure have come a long way! They've not just learnt a lot and grown from all their varied experiences within the past year or two, they've even shared tips & tricks with new bakers on the forum, and of late some of them have succumbed to the demand of conducting baking classes - the trend these days! Some of these ladies are on their way to becoming Le Cordon Bleu chefs! 

HBG has also travelled far and wide (literally - members belong to different countries) in the past 1 year. Almost every Baker Showcase event has been a complete sell-out, with tables being cleared of all goodies within an hour or two of opening. The surging crowds at Chennai and Bangalore proved what a gigantic sweet tooth Indians have! Just take a look at the photos of past events on FB to know how popular an event this has turned into, besides showcasing the unbelievably amazing variety of sweets and savouries made by talented women of all ages and backgrounds. 

HBG has given them the confidence boost they needed to take their plated creations out of their kitchens and on to hungry customers with good taste. They have learnt the art of conversation, selling skills, photography, presentation and much, more more. Most of all that they have experienced cannot be elucidated in words as is obvious when they gush in gratitude about the support they have received from one another on the forum.

Founded by K P Balakumar and Nanditha Sashidharan, HBG is ready to head to the next level in the coming year. Both are humbled by the response from members and the purchasing public and are determined to give back to society a lot more than before. A scholarship fund for underprivileged students is being set up. Since Showcase participants retain 100% of their proceeds, the event has sponsors to provide support -- collections of which have resulted in HBG donating nearly 1 lakh rupees to various social service organisations such as Sahaayika, Deepam, Chennai Adoption Drive and War Wounded Foundation.

HBG's elegant poster of the Baker Showcase Anniversary Edition 

This event sponsor is Sathyabama University. Director of the University, Dr. Maaria Zeena Johnson, who does a lot of social work herself, very willingly and generously offered to support HBG's commitment to helping women entrepreneurs and social causes.

So now, how can YOU afford to miss out on this smorgasbord of sugary and spicy haven! Drop in and find out what your taste buds are missing! 

On June 22nd @ Sandy's, Ganapathy Colony, off Cenotaph Road, Chennai. 

If you want to grab the best of the best, be there on the dot at 4 p.m. sharp! If you want to witness empty tables, saunter in at 6 p.m. onwards!

Meanwhile, read up on some of the bakers (& what they're making for you) in the Baker Brigade series of posts over the next few hours, on the eve of Chennai's biggest bake sale! 

Write ups coming up shortly - watch this space!


  1. where on earth u find such wonderful words to explain things.excellent write up n to the point info .I M PROUD TO B 1 OF THE HBGian.
    i m not the show person for tomorrow still as nervous as i was during my first time @ the showcase. i wish all of them from the bottom of my heart---------- ALL THE BEST COZ U R ALL BEST.

  2. Anjana :) Thank you so much for taking the time to read and to also leave a comment :) See you tomm!