For the past few weeks, Food Network has been broadcasting the show, “Best Baker In America,” a competition composed of nine skilled bakers from all over America to win a prize of $25,000. Each week contestants compete in two challenges, the skills challenge, and the master challenge. The skills challenge evaluates the technique of the bakers on small pastries and the master challenge showcases their entire ability as a baker in terms of presentation, flavor, technique, texture, and other details. Each challenge is judged by two professionals, Jason Smith and Marcela Valladolid, and a special guest judge that changes each week. Each week they assess the bakers’ abilities and decide who will stay for the continuance of the competition and who will be eliminating. On Monday, June 18th, the finale took place with only three competitors left, one competitor coming from the Southern Connecticut area. That competitor being Adam Young, the owner of Sift in Mystic, CT and a second location in Watch Hill, RI.
Young came out of the competition swinging, showcasing his strong ability in pastry crafting. He proved to be one of the top competitors, winning multiple skills and master challenges. Young was also seen having hilarious and witty banter with Jean-Francois Suteau, a French pastry man from West Virginia. Each week, Young conversed with Suteau, taunting and challenging one another, in a nice, friendly, competitive spirit that made their relationship a staple in the season.
For a large portion of the season, Young was seen as the superior, taking hold of the competition and beating out Suteau and the rest of the bakers. However, Young was not always on a high streak and did suffer a week in being the bottom two, close to elimination. With his ambitious nature, Young attempted to make a grand slam with creating a cheesecake that combined two cheesecakes together. One of his cakes had not stayed together as he was assembling it all, so he had to quickly remake that cake, which in the evaluation proved to not aid his cake at all. Almost losing it all, Young was at the bottom two and was luckily saved and continued on in the competition.
Young managed to avoid large mistakes the rest of the season and made it to the finale, along with Suteau and Lasheeda Perry, a pastry chef from Atlanta, GA. For their final challenges, the bakers had to incorporate the king of the flavors, chocolate. The skills challenge is the bakers creating small little chocolate cakes with apricot jam in them. For the challenge, Young managed to beat out Perry and Suteau, whose cakes turned out to be somewhat dry. However, the competition was not yet complete. The bakers had to face the master challenge. They were challenged to make a cake that could serve 100 people, is comprised of multiple types of chocolates, integrates caramel, and is supplemented with three different types of bonbons. All competitors gave it their all, bringing their A-game. The judges enjoyed all three cakes, making it a hard decision. In the end, they had to choose one winner. The judges chose Adam Young. Young proved to be the strongest baker in the competition and proved to be the “Best Baker in America.”
You can check out Adam’s pastries and work at Sift Bakery in Mystic, CT or in his newly opened location in Watch Hill, RI.
Noah Cayangyang, Staff Writer
Sophomore Noah Cayangyang is a staff writer for the 2017-2018 Colonel. He plays on the soccer and track teams at Ledyard. Noah is also the guitarist in what most people refer to as a “mildly decent band” and FUN FACT: he will *die* if you give him peanuts. Do not feed the wild Cayangyangs.