Beloved Food Network Challenge judge and cake designer Kerry Vincent has died at 75 after battling an illness not made public.
On Saturday, January 2, the nonprofit organization Vincent co-founded, called the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show, shared the tragic news via a Facebook post. "It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of Kerry Vincent earlier this evening," the post read.
"Being a very private person when it came to all things not cake, she did not want to put her illness out there to the public. Unfortunately her fight has come to an end but she will no longer have any pain," the post continued. "She will be sorely missed by all who she has touched through the Sugar Arts as well as personally. There will be no services per her request. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers."
Fellow star chefs took to social media to express their condolences. Food Network star Zac Young wrote, "RIP Kerry Vincent. Original queen of cake thank you for sharing your wit and artistry," via his Instagram story, as Australian celebrity chef Dan Lepard paid tribute to the late Vincent via Twitter.
The master sugar artist — who was known to fans as the "Queen of Cakes" — originally came from Wyalkatchem in Western Australia and later moved to Tulsa, Okla. Vincent founded the Grand National Wedding Cake Competition — which started in 1996 as part of the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show — after she first launched an exhibition of winter season wedding cakes in 1985. She later became a judge on The Great Australian Bake Off and hosted the Food Network 2014 series Save My Bakery.
In addition to her success, Vincent made baking history as the first to establish decorating as an art form. According to the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show’s website, the Food Network star invented unique baking techniques, including a new method in fondant finish called the Vincent Marquetry.
Before becoming a judge, Vincent made her own cake recipes and served as a wedding cake advisor. She was later inducted into the International Cake Exploration Societé Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Dessert Professional Hall of Fame six years later.