1 month after turning 18, I entered my first competition. It was an American Culinary Federation competition in the wedding cake category. I recieved a gold medal for this cake.
Amazingly, it was my first time making a wedding cake, and a five tier one at that. It was my second time working with gumpaste, but first time making roses.
It had been exactly 2 years and 12 cakes since my first fondant cake. I never took any classes, but taught myself through books and the internet. I was so elated to have come so far as to get a gold in a professional competition.