By Bill Robinson
Senior News Writer
Duff Goldman, known to Food Network viewers as the “Ace of Cakes,” is coming to Richmond on Saturday, April 23 for an event to benefit the Grace Now Food Pantry.
The event, Grace Plus Ace Food and Cake Expo, will take place in Eastern Kentucky University’s Alumni Coliseum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to Sherry Robinson of Grace Now.
Goldman will talk with the audience about his career as a chef, baker and Food Network star in a one-hour discussion moderated by Lexington radio host Jack Pattie.
The event also will feature cake decorating competitions, for both amateurs and professionals, as well as an exhibition by vendors who sell food and food products or cooking supplies. Goldman will help judge the professional contest.
The amateur competition will include a category for adults and two for youngsters, ages 17 to 13 and 12 to 6. The professional category will have three classes: tiered, holiday/special occasion and sculpted.
Entry fees are required for the competitions, but competitors will not be charged to view the expo. Entry deadline is April 6.
Tickets went on sale Feb. 28, but among the first orders came from a family in New York who are Ace of Cake fans and have a son attending EKU, Robinson said.
“They have a daughter who is into cake decorating and is a big fan of the Ace of Cakes,” she said.
Tickets to view cakes in the competition and tour the vendor expo are $7 for adults and $5 for children.
To attend the one-hour discussion with the Ace of Cakes, tickets are $40 for premium seats and $30 for standard seats.
Tickets may be purchased via the organization’s website, www.gracenowky.com. Information about exhibiting and entering the cake decorating contests also can be found on the website.
Having a Food Network star headline a food-bank benefit is fitting and exciting, Robinson said.
“We’re really grateful to have a nationally known celebrity like Duff Goldman come to Richmond and for what this will mean for the families that Grace Now Food Pantry serves,” she said.
Robinson said she was listening to Pattie’s Lexington radio program recently and heard him mention that he was an Ace of Cakes fan.
“We needed a moderator for our program, so I called Jack and he accepted our invitation,” she said.
Grace Now Food Pantry, a non-profit organization begun by a local church in 2001, distributed more than 90,000 food items to about 1,100 families last year.
It also provides personal-care and baby-care items, as well as clothing, and tries to form helpful relationships with those it serves.
“We try to treat those we serve with dignity and demonstrate to them God’s unconditional love and grace,” Robinson said.
Located on S. Collins Street behind The Medicine Shoppe pharmacy, Grace Now Food Pantry is open for distributions on Mondays from 6 to 9 p.m. and Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m.
For details about the food pantry, visit the website or call 626-8990.