Creepy crawly cakes

Holly Menninger ’00

Just for fun, Holly Menninger ’00, the seriously successful entomologist at Cornell, recently did a stint on Food Network Challenge: Monster Bug Cakes, helping to judge the cakes’ overall appeal and, of course, their creepy-crawly accuracy.

The FN website describes the episode as four cake designers recreating yucky bugs using yummy cake. “Each bug cake needs to be jumbo-sized — at least three feet tall — and they all have to have moving parts. These cakes will be so lifelike you might want to bring some bug spray.” And there’s a $10,000 prize.

Menninger’s title at Cornell is senior extension associate and coordinator of the Invasive Species Research Institute in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. So she is really well qualified to make sure these bug cakes have proper wings and the right number of legs.

She was flown out to Denver in December to shoot the episode, which first aired on Sunday, Jan. 8, but you can still catch a rebroadcast on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m.

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