I recently had the thrill of a lifetime - one of the highlights of my life as a cake decorator. I think I have
arrived as a professional.

On May 21, 2009, I was hauling my Quarter Horse, Dashing Big Red, up to Texas A & M to be shod.
Hubby was driving and we were chitchatting about nothing. My phone rings and I see it is Martha
Hebert calling. Martha is always fun to talk to so I eagerly answered the phone. Martha asked me
what I was doing in July...what did I have planned? I said "Whatcha got going, Chickie?"

Martha, being the sly fox she is, just asked what I had going on! I said I had a wedding cake on Friday
the 3rd and a wedding cake on the the following Saturday. She then dropped this bomb on me:

"Can you go to California with us?"

"Do y'all have a class there?" I asked.

"No...can you go?" she asked again.

So I said "Sure...I can go...where are we going and why?!"

Then the bigger bomb......

"Hollywood...we are going to Hooolllllyyyyywooood for a Cake Challenge!!"

Oh my gosh...I nearly passed out in the truck...thank goodness my hubby was driving or we would
have ended up in the ditch. "Cake Challenge? CAKE CHALLENGE????? ON TV????"

Martha just laughed and said "yes!!!" My brain went blank I think for a few minutes. Martha was still
telling me details. She said "You know how to do poured sugar and gum paste right?" I said "of
course" and that is how it began.

Jennifer Dontz, my good friend from Michigan was brought on board after numerous phone calls from
me and a wrangling of schedules. Jennifer and her husband drove down to the coast to visit his
friends in southern Louisiana and I met them in St. Martinville, Louisiana to meet with the Two Sweet
Sisters. We got a game plan going and we were all so excited.

The six weeks went by so fast it was frightening...the next thing I knew I was on a plane to Houston to
meet the Sisters. We flew together to Los Angeles and met up with Jennifer. We arrived in LA to a
fabulous display of fireworks going off in honor of the Forth of July.

The next day on Sunday we were able to go set up our kitchen - everything was laid out and ready to
go. On Monday, we went to the studio and met the other teams - wonderful, talented folks. We filmed
a few shots of the teams together and it was so much fun!!!

Tuesday was the big day! Off we went to the studio and gave it our all. We worked like little
machines, each with a task to do, tasks we do every week in our on kitchens as we make wedding
cakes for brides.

No matter what the outcome was I felt like a winner because I had been chosen by Martha and Becky
to be on their team. That I had this fabulous opportunity to work with them so closely on something
that was so much fun, a major challenge, and the thrill of competing.

I came home with so many good memories...spending days with my good friends, laughing and
talking, learning new things and having new experiences. What more could I ask for?

I can't wait for it to air. I hope that I look like I knew what I was doing!!! It is supposed to air either in
September or October and I can't wait. We are going to have a party at my house to watch it on our
big giant 64" TV. I expect to get tons of critiques from my family who aren't shy about their opinions!

It was one of the highlights of my professional life and a personal thrill as well. I had such a good time
I am ready to go again so if Martha calls and says "what are you doing?" I am going to do my best to
be right there with her and Becky, making cakes and talking up a storm...someone said we all had
accents. Accent? What accent? A girl from southeast Texas, two girls from southern Louisiana and
one girl from Michigan don't have accents.

Thanks so much, Martha Hebert, Becky Guidry and Jennifer Dontz. I had a blast and will forever
cherish the memories.

Denise Talbot

Cakes So Special
The Learning Channel's
Ultimate Cake Off Challenge
Filmed in Hollywood, California  July 7, 2009
Aired September 28, 2009
TCL Winning Cake - Martha Hebert TeamWe
competed in Los Angeles on July 7, 2009 against
two other teams. Our team was lead by Martha
Hebert and her sister, Becky Guidry of Sweet
Southern Ladies of St. Martinville, Louisiana and
joined by Denise Talbot, Cakes So Special,
Nederland, Texas and my good friend, Jennifer
Dontz of Sugar Delites, Manestee, Michigan!!! Also
pictured is the client, Chris Brown, of the Peterson
Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California.

We had to sit in "time out" TWICE but still managed
to complete our cake and clean our kitchen before
the bell rang. I made the poured sugar road, a
"garnet" and "ruby" jewel - one for the sugar road
and one for the cake, a fondant and RKT purse, cut
out the shoes, iced a cake, and piped the black
writing on the bottom cake on three sides of the
hexagons. Jennifer made the roses and the
fabulously realistic shoes and completed the video
frame. Becky covered the cakes in fondant and
worked on the designs of the cake as did Martha.
Becky made the little RKT cars. Martha did the two
competitions, designed the cakes and stands,
designed the car manual (this wasn't shown) put on
the details and worked to like a Trojan organizing
everything with the precision of a general going to
battle. Martha is just amazing to watch and so is
Becky. It was a pleasure and an honor to be chosen
by my dear friends to compete with them.