“It’s the weirdest thing,” says Cake Nouveau owner Courtney Clark. “There I am in Disneyland surrounded by all these kids—fans with Hannah Montana shirts on—making a birthday cake for such a big star.” The occasion: a Food Network competition in October in which Clark and three other chefs had vied to create the best edible work of art for star Miley Ray Cyrus’s sixteenth birthday.
Bound to secrecy, Clark can’t reveal who won till the episode airs sometime in January. But she has won $10,000 prizes in Food Network competitions twice before—a good thing, since the cost of buying and shipping all her own supplies adds up fast. Her ten-layer Miley cake was covered in rock ‘n’ roll decorations, from piano keys to a hot pink Mickey Mouse guitar. Even if she doesn’t win, Clark says, the appearance should be great advertising: in December, a posting about one of her cakes on a Food Network blog sent so much traffic to her website that the server crashed.