Cupcakes and Cocktails 2017: Meet the Judges

OCRCC Articles

We are excited to announce the panel of judges of this year’s cupcake contest at Cupcakes & Cocktails! These judges will taste test our contestants’ delicious cupcake creations in order to award the Best Cupcake and Runner Up.

Plus, YOU be the judge when you join us for Cupcakes & Cocktails this Sunday, June 11, where we will also award a People’s Choice cupcake.

Eric Hodge


Eric Hodge hosts WUNC’s broadcast of Morning Edition, and files reports for the North Carolina news segments of the broadcast. He started at the station in 2004 doing fill-in work on weekends and All Things Considered.

In August 2004, he took over the Morning Edition slot where he enjoys the challenge of bringing North Carolina news to listeners each weekday. Eric moved to Carrboro from New York City in 2000. He worked for the BBC and XFM radio while living in London, England. He has also run his own music marketing company, worked for major record labels in both New York and London, and worked on the Grammy Award nominated Harry Belafonte project, “The Anthology of Black Music.”

Eric grew up in Michigan, trained at the Broadcast Center in St. Louis with CBS’s KMOX radio and worked at a variety of stations in the Midwest and upstate New York.

Paola de Maayer

Fearrington House Restaurant

Paola was born and raised in Costa Rica. Originally working in the corporate world with a focus on human resources and management, she decided to pursue her true passion after relocating to the US. During her time in culinary school Paola was selected to work at the Food Network in New York City, developing and testing recipes. She joined Fearrington’s team as a cake designer in early 2015 and was promoted to Pastry Sous Chef in 2016.


Allison Hussey

Indy Week

Allison Hussey is the music editor at INDY Week, where she also occasionally writes about biscuits and junk food. Her writing has also appeared at Pitchfork, Bandcamp, Noisey, and The Bluegrass Situation. She grew up in Cary and now lives in Durham with a fat cat named Barry.

Christin Kubasko

Southern Sugar Bakery

Born and raised in Raleigh, Christin received her undergraduate degree from Meredith College (2010) and her Master’s degree from Appalachian State University (2012). After working for 3 years as a high school counselor for WCPSS, Christin pursued a dream she’d had for years and opened Southern Sugar Bakery with her friend and business partner, Angie Tucker. Southern Sugar Bakery has been a full-time operation since July 2015 and specializes in custom decorated sugar cookies and cookie cakes.

Melanie Wilson

People’s Choice, 2016 and 2015

Melanie Wilson is the People’s Choice winner for two years running! Her Grapefruit Shandy Cupcakes won over the crowds in 2016, following the victory of her Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cupcakes in 2015. Melanie’s love of baking began early on with her Mom in the kitchen. Trying new cupcake recipes has become a hobby, and all her friends and family enjoy the role of taste tester. She is a North Carolina native and lives with her husband and two daughters in Hillsborough. When not baking, she works as a GIS Analyst creating maps supporting air quality research.

Join us for Cupcakes & Cocktails on Sunday, June 11, 2:30-5pm, at Tandem in Carrboro. Enjoy a cupcake contest, the 2017 signature cocktail, live music, a wine wall, and more! Admission includes unlimited cupcakes and one drink ticket. Tickets can be purchased online for $40 per person by June 7, or if available, at the door for $50. See you there!

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