The Dalai Lama once said, “The need for love is the very basis of human existence.
While we all want and need love, the ability to have this right has been a struggle for members of the LGBTQ + community.
Everett Gonzales, Jr. de Greeley, real estate agent and founder of Great Greeley Bake-Off, wanted to show that no matter who you are – straight, gay, pansexual, bisexual or otherwise – love is love and everyone deserves it. the opportunity to love and be loved.
On Saturday, Gonzales, Jr. hosted the finals of his Love is Love Bake-Off pride month at Fossil Creek Lake in Fort Collins.
The event featured eight finalist bakers from Greeley, Fort Collins and Northern Colorado, challenging them to present their best-prepared creation incorporating the theme “Love is Love”.
The finalists provided a variety of different creations, including macaroons, éclairs and tiered cakes, which individually represented the theme with the colors of the rainbow flag, supporting words and other symbols of love.
UNC student Chloe Resler, 22, won first prize with her baked challah bread sculpture depicting a lesbian Jewish wedding, with the Hebrew verse “The kisses from your mouth are sweeter to me than honey” .
“I wanted to celebrate my heritage as a Jewish person and my identity as a queer person, so I thought the challah is quite strong and easy to braid, so why not make it into a bread sculpture,” said Resler. “I wanted to incorporate colors that I don’t normally and flavors that I don’t normally and really push myself.”
Courtney Waldron took second with her three-tiered chocolate cake which featured amazing floral designs and decadent white frosting, while Serena Douglas took third, also with a three-tiered cake, which featured butterflies and rainbow layers.
Noah Beck, 23, of Fort Collins created a fruit pie made with five different flavors of fruit and custard.
“It’s actually the relief pie. The original did not survive the heat and the hustle and bustle in the car, ”he said. “I tried to do it as a flag of pride and to unify everything by the flavor of the cream.”
Other finalists included Emmy Johnson, Norm Julian, Jentry Nasif and Cierra Withkowski.
As with the Great Greeley Bake-Off, the judges struggled to determine the top three winners. Along with Gonzales, Jr., Anne Larsen, State Farm insurance agent in Lafayette, and Jessica Weijola, Great Greeley Bake-Off finalist, were tasked with analyzing each entry against a variety of criteria set for the competition.
“For me, it was about making sure it fit into the theme ‘Love is love’, that was a big part of that,” Weijola said. “Everything was delicious and everything was technically competent. The theme was the hardest part.
For Larsen, trying to measure the different factors of each submission was his biggest challenge when it came to finalizing his choices for the winning spots.
“There were such good parts of each,” Larsen said. “If you had a base to build on, it would have been easier. But they were all awesome.
Gonzales, Jr. continues to work on other baking events, including one that will feature young bakers. More information will be provided as details of this event are released.