CHINEZE IBUOKA EMERGES BAKER OF THE YEAR AS IBADAN BAKER OLLYBLUEBELL IS CROWNED NAIJA TOP BAKER

Distinguished bakers receive the special award of Baker of the Year annually. The first ever of this award unanimously went to Mrs Chineze Ibuoka, the CEO of Honeysuckle Cakes, for her outstanding contributions to the baking industry in Nigeria. In another development, young Ibadan based baker, Olaitan John Ojo with Ollybluebell as brand name, was crowned Naija Top Baker after a keen competition from two other finalists at the 2-day event to unveil a nationwide search for the best upcoming bakers in Nigeria. The event marked the official launch of the brand featuring networking, achievement awards, cake decorating competition and special showcase by top cake makers while manufacturers of baking equipment and products, bakeries and others had a chance to exhibit their products and interface with prospective clients.

About Chineze Ibuoka: a graduate of English from the University of Nigeria Nsuka. Her passion for the best has produced cakes in all forms and shapes. From high tower cakes to carved, molded and sculpted cakes. Mrs Ibuoka has been in the baking industry all her life because her mother Juliana is also known as a baker before she retired. Chineze’s professional baking, which began after her graduation has been on for about 20 years. Since then she has been awarded certificates from leading cake bodies in both England and USA. She does not limit the pursuit of her goal to Nigeria alone but has featured in exhibition in many other countries abroad. She has since diversified into training of many students that has come out to be reputable cake designers. She is currently a member of the board of directors of the highest cake body in the world, ICES International, a position she was elected into after serving as the Nigerian Representative.  In October 2015, she was named the new International Chair & International Liaison of the organization. ICES is the International Cake Exploration Societe which is one of the biggest cake and sugarcraft body based in the US and has over 4000 members all over the world. She runs Honeysuckle cakes and markets cake materials which include all sugar craft items from all over the world and cake baking equipment of the best make.

Powered by Versatili Communications Limited, Naija Top Baker is a nationwide search for the best upcoming bakers in Nigeria. A winner is selected annually through a series of exciting regional screenings alongside a cake exhibition and teaching session. The event also featured the public presentation of Naija Top Bakers which serves as a booster group for the brand. Officers of the group were introduced spanning 12 States and growing.

Dr Layiwola with the Organiser

IMG_6477Reknowned bakers at the event, held at Vginis Events Centre opposite Yabatech Lagos, were; Bayo Olowu of Maplecraft Sugar Art Centre Port Harcourt, Gbolahan Olakunle of Creative Cakes by Gbolahan, Kolawole Olagunju of Bakewell Studios, Sheyi Cake Boss of Sheyi Cakes, Olufemi Akanni, Santa Marie, Babatunde Ibukun of Cake Crest, Chioma OnTop Classics, Folashade Abiodun of City Touch Cakes amongst others. The founder of Women & Youth Art Foundation, Dr Mrs Peju Layiwola, also graced the event and distributed free VCDs from her collection of 9 Empowerment Videos.

Exhibitors of repute also connected with clients at the event. They include; Munro Sugar Icing, Sugarcraft Bit & Bobs, Acabado Cakes, Enis Cakes, Oaks Royal Cakes, Marqhavens Cakes & Events, Pearls ‘N’ Rubies Cakes and Confectionery, Chumex Events Foods, Royal Dukes, Mayplecraft, All Books, Crystals, House of Kupie and others

HOW IT STARTED

It all started as a charity event called the Nigerian Cake Festival & Flour Craft Exhibition, which took place in major cities across Nigeria including Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan. The first edition was held in Lagos from October 1 to 3, 2014 at the gymnasium National Stadium, Lagos. This was followed by the Abuja edition held at the prestigious Barcelona Hotel from February 5 to 6. The Banquet Hall of Premier Hotel hosted the event from June 18 to 19, 2015.

 2016 Schedule of events;

Abuja (Northern States February 12 – 13, 2016)

Ibadan (South West States May 12 – 13, 2016)

Port Harcourt (South South States August 11 – 12, 2016)

Ebonyi (South East States October 20 – 21, 2016).

Lagos – The grand finale to crown Naija Top Baker 2017 from winners from regional screenings will hold on December 1 – 2, 2016 in Lagos.

Contact Naija Top Baker; Abuja: Plot 117, Pretoria Close off Tunis Street, Wuse Zone 6. |  Lagos: Plot 15, Bomadek Avenue off Ago Palace Way, Okota Isolo

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