By GasserOnline Correspondent, Dana Birkes
Kerry Vincent, Master Sugar Artist and Food Network judge, spoke to The Tulsa Rotary Club on September 11, 2013. Sharing her personal story of climbing the tiers to cake decoration fame, Vincent spent her early years on a remote ranch in Western Australia making her way to Tulsa, which she still calls home.
Initially, Vincent was a reluctant sugar artist. She started a career in public relations in Europe then married engineer Doug Vincent and moved to Tulsa. Asked by a friend to make her wedding cake as a favor, she went to a baker, got the equipment and figured it out. She was then inundated with requests as ‘all the bridesmaids’ came knocking at her door to make cakes for their weddings. She turned down every request until the ongoing demand for her talent led her to believe this must be her calling. This was clearly a wise choice given her illustrious and lucrative career.
Today, she refuses to “‘open her oven door for less than $2,000” and is the founder and ongoing director of the prestigious Oklahoma Sugar Arts Show. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this show brings in contestants and visitors from all over the world spurring greater awareness of Tulsa, enhancing the tourism trade and boosting our local economy.
Closing the door on her competitive career in 2001 with more than 100 blue ribbons under her belt, Vincent went on to convince television producers that sugar artistry would sell. Today, she has completed 192 episodes as a judge on the Food Network Challenge proving that her instincts are correct. She has been called both the “Queen of Cakes” and the “Simon Cowell of Cakes” for her insightful yet demanding guidance to contestants’ on this culinary show.
An entertaining and clearly driven professional, Vincent credits never taking no for an answer, never giving up, and not caring what others think as the key traits that have enabled her success.