LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show Announces Special Guest Lineup Featuring “Sweet Genius” Star Ron Ben-Israel

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Roster for California’s biggest baking and pastry convention also features stars of Masterchef, Masterchef Junior and Next Food Network Star.

On January 25th, 2015, thousands of baking and pastry enthusiasts will descend upon Pasadena Convention Center for the inaugural LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show. The Sweets Show stands to be California’s biggest convention for home bakers and confectioners.

“Ron Ben-Israel, our headlining guest, is one of the most famous pastry artists in the world,” commented event organizer Todd Tei. “Through his show Sweet Genius on Food Network, he became a household name. For most Los Angeles fans this represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see him in person.”

Ben-Israel is joined by special guests including Masterchef fan favorites Ahran Cho, Daniel McGuffey and Monti Carlo, Masterchef Junior’s Dara Yu (better known as “Dara the Bow Girl”), Troy Glass and Sarah Lane, and Next Food Network Star’s Stacey Poon-Kinney, now proud owner of The Trails Eatery in San Diego. More guests will be announced on the Sweets Show's website as the event approaches.

Addressing a common question posed over social media, co-organizer Nancy Tei, the voice of the show’s social media accounts, said, “Yes, our special guests are available for selfies. An autograph signing schedule will be up closer to the date.”

Other than abundant samples of sweets, snacks and savories from local and national exhibitors, the convention offers fans a forum to explore the confectionary arts with fellow aficionados — a sort of “try before you buy” bonanza for baking supplies, ingredients and decorations. Programming also includes hands-on demos and classes taught by special guests and culinary school instructors.

“If you like chocolate, pastry, candy, and accompaniments like coffee, tea, and milk — and who doesn’t, really — you will find something delicious to try or buy,” said Tei. “Traditional, organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, local, all natural — something for everyone.”

For many, the highlight of the day will be the Baking Contest to benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Home bakers and professionals alike can submit sweets in a number of categories to be judged by both the public and the show’s celebrity guests, including Ben-Israel himself. “The chance to win a competition judged by nationally famous culinary personalities doesn’t come along often,” noted Tei. “We’re thankful to the generosity of sponsors like Keurig in helping us put on this event.”

Buzz in the food blogger community is high, with hundreds applying to join the “Cookie Clan,” a group of top food, lifestyle and event bloggers curated by event organizers to help bring attention and awareness to the event and its participants. The Cookie Clan’s social media reach and blog readership is in the millions, to the delight of exhibitors and sponsors looking to maximize positive word-of-mouth before the Valentine’s Day holiday.

Sara de Leeuw and her popular recipe blog My Imperfect Kitchen are members of the Cookie Clan. She enthused, "It's going to be an incredible event. How can you beat a convention all about baking and sweets, headlined by the King of Cakes?"

LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show by AKT Entertainment, LLC is donating 10% of ticket proceeds and 100% of raffle and Baking Contest proceeds to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. For more information on exhibiting, sponsorship, attending, or competing in the baking contests, visit their website at

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Nancy Tei
AKT Entertainment LLC
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