San Diego Bakers Show Off Spooky Talent on the Food Network
October 26, 2017
By Geneva Gámez-Vallejo
The Food Network premiered its third season of “Halloween Baking Championship” back in September, opening its kitchen doors to two local bakers, which have kept viewers screeching with their exceptional talent.
The Halloween-themed baking contest challenges eight contestants to prove their baking abilities under spellbinding themes surrounding the holiday and features one participant elimination at the end of each episode.
Each episode has carried out creatively scary themes that evoke the popular holiday, and by which each contestant has to make their dessert the most grotesque looking, yet yummiest to eat.
We spoke to Ray Vizcaino and Jessica Scott, the two San Diego based contestants who’ve given it their all on the show. Although Vizcaino was eliminated during this week’s episode, Scott is now one of the three finalists competing for the championship title, and San Diego couldn’t be prouder.
Scott is the Executive Pastry Chef for Puesto. She’s been working since the age of 15 and shared that it wasn’t until only last year that she had the opportunity to go on her first vacation.
“I learned so much from just one trip, and gained a ton of inspiration for my creations,” she said. “I’m always searching for ways to better myself, and if I win this will just be the next step!”
If Scott takes the championship, she will also be taking home a grand prize of $25,000, which she plans on using for more traveling.
Whether it’s a featured destination in magazines, or being highlighted for its chefs on national TV, San Diego is making noise lot of noise as of late and it is no surprise that this city is home to many culinary creators.
“I think San Diego in the past has always been a great laid-back beach vibe (sic), but until lately the San Diego culinary community has been thirsty for more! Why let LA have all the attention? We can do what they are doing, and we can do more! Especially being so close to the border, it is a great way to collaborate, compare, and triumph!” Scott expressed.
“We are a huge melting pot in my eyes, we have so many diverse cultures alone in San Diego and that’s a huge part in my eyes. Chefs are learning from one another and trying new and different techniques, flavors, ingredients and it’s shown in the past few years. The food scene has blown up tremendously in the past few years and we are a great location for up and coming chefs to make their name and mark in this industry,” Vizcaino added.
Now that Vizcaino has been eliminated he will continue to focus on securing a storefront for Mr. Cakes, his currently-online baking business which specializes in all-occassion decorative cakes. However he shared some advice to any to aspiring bakers.
“Keep going and don’t be afraid to try new flavor combinations and to look everywhere for inspiration. That’s the great thing about baking, it is such an enormous field that you one can do anything with it. Have fun with what you make and don’t let what anyone says put your baking down. I always tell people ‘bake with love and enjoy it,’” he said.
Win or lose, Scott stated that she intends to stay at Puesto
“I have never worked at such a business that pushes me to be my best, appreciates myself and my work, and treats me like family. They are the best and I am so grateful to be a part of such a thriving community.”
The winner of the championship and the $25,000 grand prize is still a bewitching surprise we’re all eager to see revealed.
Tune into the Food Network on Monday, Oct. 30 at 9pm/8c of the grand finale of “Halloween Baking Championship.”