China’s Sugar King on a high as cakes celebrating myth and history win international prize

Master baker is the toast of Chinese social media after scooping top prize at British contest with models of Monkey King and country’s only female ruler

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 November, 2017, 3:37pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 1:48pm

China’s “Sugar King” has been crowned as the winner of an international baking contest for his elaborate creations inspired by ancient Chinese history and myths.

Zhou Yi became the first Chinese winner of the International Best in Show competition held in Birmingham in Britain last weekend.

The prize-winning creations featured a model of the Empress Wu Zetian, the only female ruler in China’s history, as a young woman. It shows her sitting in front of a Chinese floor screen and wearing delicate turquoise green silk clothing.

Another one shows the Monkey King, a mythological character who plays a leading role in the Ming-era classic Journey to the West.

The 34-year-old baker, who uses the alias “Sugar King” on social media, received a big welcome – more than 44,000 retweets and 72,000 likes – after he posted photos of his award-winning cakes on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.

Web users were amazed by the delicate, sweet sculptures. “You showed the beauty of Chinese arts to the world!” one exclaimed.

“It’s too beautiful to eat,” another said

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Zhou graduated from a cooking school in Sichuan and learned his art from Chinese master craftsman Wang Long. He specialises in fondant icing, an edible coating used to sculpt cakes and pastries, and founded a school to teach the art, according to a report from Chinese website Liaoyi.com.

The courses were booked to capacity within half an hour this April, as fans were fascinated by his ancient Chinese style sculptures.

Zhou’s prize-winning cakes are now on sale for around 10,000 yuan (US $1,500), according to a report by Beijing Youth Daily. Zhou said he would keep them in his workshop in Suzhou, near Shanghai if they do not find a buyer.