A sweet education from Barbara Evans


Tara Olivia Martens / Clarion

Barbara Evans is a master sugar artist that has a serious obsession with perfection when it comes to icing her cakes.

Tara Olivia Martens, Staff Writer

Madison College’s culinary staff were moving at a fast pace on Feb. 6 getting ready for Barbara Evan’s Chocolate 101 presentation as part of the college’s Chef Series. It was a full house, and every placemat was covered with 10 different chocolate samples.

Chocolate 101 taught audience members about chocolate from the cacao bean to chocolate liqueur. According to Evans, the more one knows about chocolate the more one can enjoy it.

“I think if you know more about chocolate, how it’s made and the production of it you enjoy it more,” she said. Also, the more people understand about what they’re putting in their bodies the more particular they are about what they eat, she said.

Guests at the event got to test 10 varieties of chocolate, courtesy of Guittard. The varieties ranged from Callebaunt White Chocolate to Noel Dark Chocolate Coating, and from Cacao Barry Tanzanie to Callebaut Kumabo.

Evans is the owner of the Wedding Cake Connection and an acclaimed Master Sugar Artist. She also invented the Stable Mable Cake Support System, a five-tier cake support system.

For Evans, success comes from always thinking about what can be improved and done better.

“I’m always thinking, ‘there must be a better way,’” said Evans.

But Evans knows more than just chocolate. She offers a variety of other classes including: buttercream, fondant, gumpaste flowers, stenciling, gingerbread, string work, and run sugar. She has five online video classes with Sugar Ed Productions.

Before her Chocolate 101 presentation, Evans got the chance to share her multitude of skills with a culinary arts class.

Johanna Pender, who is in the Baking and Decorative Arts Program, learned a lot from Evans class.

“In Barb’s class, we learned how to structure fondant and gum paste, and how to put fondant on a cake,” Pender said.

Evans has earned multiple recognitions for her work including placing in several world class shows such as: OSSAS, National Gingerbread Competition and TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off.

She also earned the title of Certified Master Sugar Artist in 2008 from the International Cake Exploration Societe, and in 2013, she received the organization’s Wilbur Brand Service Award.

“As much as I would love to say that chocolate has been beneficial to my health, there is more sugar involved than we would like to admit … but it definitely makes me happy,” Evans said.

The next event in the Madison College Chef Series will be at 6 p.m. on Feb. 28, featuring Shanna Pacifico, the regional executive chef for The Graduate Hotels.

All Chef Series events are held at the Madison College Truax Campus in Room B1285. More information can be found on the college’s website at https://madisoncollege.edu/program/culinary-arts.