Taking the Cake

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TV cooking competition fans can tune into Ultimate Cake Off tonight (TLC 9 p.m.) and watch local chef Tariq Hanna compete. Hanna is behind the sweets at Sucre. In the first episode of Ultimate Cake Off (one of several TLC programs about cakes), Hanna takes on Ashley "Easy-Bake" Vicos of Atlanta and Richard Medina of Riverside, Calif. Ultimate Cake Off is about building large cakes - taller than 5 feet, weighing in at several hundred pounds. The winning cake will be displayed at the Aquarium of the Pacific's Shark Summer Celebration. Medina may have the inside edge - being close to home and having previously created a nautical themed Pirates' Booty Cake, complete with a treasure chest full of edible candy coins and gems. Who knows where success in competitive baking could lead. Perhaps Hanna could upstage former Grill Room at the Windsor Court executive pastry chef Keegan Gerhard, who's become a frequent baking competition host/commentator on the Food Network.

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