Nearly 20 years since its debut on the community calendar, the BGF Bake-off is still associated with colour and camp.

But the iconic HIV/AIDS fundraiser also has its serious side, as judge and drag identity Claire de Lune is quick to point out.

The judging is actually quite serious and tough. We take the job really seriously, de Lune says.

People put a lot of effort into creating those cakes and preserves and such, so we really judge every item very seriously. People deserve the respect.

As in 2005, de Lune will join My Restaurant Rules judge Patrick Collins and television personality Ian Dicko Dickson to assess the community’s best-baked goods at the Midnight Shift on Sunday 18 June.

After the panellists complete their tasting rounds, hostess Mitzi Macintosh will auction the entries in between performances from Sydney’s top drag talent.

BGF is hoping to top last year’s record $38,000 charity haul at an event that remains as relevant as when it began 18 years ago.

People are getting maybe a little complacent with the whole HIV issue but it’s not getting better, de Lune said.

We cannot stop talking about it. Doing days like [Bake-off] when the red ribbon is really showcased, when we talk about HIV issues, is still very, very important.

The significant thing is that anyone can make a difference by entering something that they create themselves.

Some people who may not be able to bid thousands of dollars make a difference by creating a cake that then is sold for that amount of money, de Lune said.

Taste, artistry and humour are components the judges will be looking for in entries next weekend.

They’re also keen to see someone challenge Bake-off star Glen Lewis (Miss 3-D), whose opulent creations have won the top prize and raised thousands of dollars in recent years.

I want those people with great ideas to just create some masterpieces for us, de Lune said.

The bigger, the better, the more money we will raise.

The BGF Bake-off is on at the Midnight Shift on Sunday 18 June from 1pm. For more information and entry details visit the BGF website.

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