After sixty years of chocolate cake tasting, Gerry Frank takes a breather.

Gerry Frank smiles with the top 3 finishers of the 60th Annual Gerry Frank Chocolate Cake Contest on September 1st, 2019 at the Oregon State Fair. L-R: 2nd place finisher Jamie Hendrickson of Monmouth, Gerry Frank, 1st place finisher Jenn Hearn of Keizer, and 3rd place finisher Suzanne Akin of Bend.
Gerry Frank smiles with the top 3 finishers of the 60th Annual Gerry Frank Chocolate Cake Contest on September 1st, 2019 at the Oregon State Fair. L-R: 2nd place finisher Jamie Hendrickson of Monmouth, Gerry Frank, 1st place finisher Jenn Hearn of Keizer, and 3rd place finisher Suzanne Akin of Bend.

The Gerry Frank Chocolate Layer Cake Contest will be missed at this year’s Oregon State Fair.

The traditions of the Oregon State Fair are many. But few if any achieve the sheer status or popularity of the Gerry Frank Chocolate Layer Cake Contest. And now, as the Fair returns from its pandemic year off, it turns out that the sixtieth edition of this esteemed contest (held in 2019) will stand as a benchmark. Gerry Frank—now ninety years of age and counting—has decided it might be best if he took some time off in 2021. After all, he’s tasted every single chocolate layer cake entry for sixty straight years, aided by the occasional swig of Pepto Bismol. He has always been the sole judge, and hopes to return in 2022.

Gerry Frank’s love of chocolate is recognized by legions. His is the best-known cake contest in the Northwest. Gerry founded and later sold Gerry Frank’s Konditorei, a gourmet cake shop and restaurant in Salem. Gerry Frank is well known for his Oregonian column. Look for the latest edition of "Gerry Frank’s Oregon”, a compilation of Gerry’s Oregonian travel columns along with historical and interesting tidbits about Oregon and treasured stories of the Meier and Frank families. His best-selling guidebook, “Where to Find It, Buy It, Eat It in New York,” has sold over one million copies and guided thousands throughout the tangles of Manhattan.

The Oregon State Fair extends its highest level of gratitude and appreciation to Gerry Frank for his loyal dedication to this beloved contest. His contribution to the unique nature of our fair is beyond remarkable. Fairgoers have long celebrated his cake-tasting fortitude while on stage, often cajoling the crowd with his stories. Thank you, Mr. Frank.

Oregon State Fair Newsletter

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