Dust off those cobwebs (or rather, don’t) because it’s time for another season of the spookiest baking competition on television. Some of the top bakers in North America are gathered to show off their culinary (and creepy) chops as they battle it out to create the best, tastiest Halloween-themed desserts. This year’s competition is stiffer than ever as 12 talented bakers with skills ranging from French-trained pastry chefs to self-taught home cooks enter the competition. And get ready for some truly fantastical Halloween displays because the competition includes a former death metal musician and a horror-themed bakery owner.
Christa Aylward — Dublin, OH
In her former life, Christa was an occupational therapist, but today she’s a cake artist and owner of her home bakery business, Sweets by Christa. This wife and mother of two little ones uses her science background as a secret weapon in her baking.
Chad Conklin — Dayton, OH
Culinary instructor Chad Conklin is no stranger to a professional kitchen environment. As a man of many interests, he’s ready to bring the heat to the kitchen (and maybe a bit of his edge to the spooky competition, after playing in a death metal band). Chad hopes to make his students proud and show them that they have the best instructor in the biz!
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James Cox — Chicago, IL
After training at a pastry school in France, James opened his own bakery, the (incredibly named) Sugar Daddy Patisserie. His motto is to “make life sweeter each day” by following his passion for baking up sweet masterpieces.
Stacy Day — Nashville, TN
As the executive pastry chef at The Hermitage Hotel, Stacy has cooked under pressure (and for a crowd!) before. And she does it all with style. Speaking of style, she’s a fan of the spookier things in life after growing up with an appreciation for goth style, making her a perfect fit for the competition!
Mandi Del Toro — San Antonio, TX
Home baker and SFX makeup artist Mandi has the chops in the kitchen, and creating Halloween-worthy horrors on faces and baked treats. Don’t count her out based on lack of professional experience — she’s been working as a professional baker for a year now and is ready to bring those skills to Halloween Baking Championship.
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Adesuwa Elaiho — San Antonio, TX
The competitors will need to watch out for Adesuwa. This professionally-trained chef holds four degrees from in France and is a CEO and executive chef, making her stiff competition in the Halloween Baking Championship kitchen this season.
Hollie Fraser — Port Moody, British Columbia
Phoebe Martinson— Olympia, WA
As the owner of two cafes and bakeries, Phoebe has seen, not to mention baked, her share of sweet treats. Her love for culinary arts goes back to her high school days. Despite her sweet looks, Phoebe is big on spooky desserts, so competitors will have to see what this pastry pro has up her sleeves.
Ryan McCord — Nashville, TN
As the pastry chef at an upscale hotel chain, Ryan brings his culinary chops, plus a love of holidays to the Halloween Baking Championship kitchen. As a bonus, he’s worked on the edible holiday displays at the Walt Disney World Resort (what could be better preparation than that?).
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Shefali Patel — Coppell, TX
The multi-talented and multi-hyphenated Shefali is no stranger to working under pressure. She’s a lawyer, Bollywood dance and zumba instructor, cake business owner and mother of three! We’re looking forward to seeing what this force of nature can cook up in the Halloween Baking Championship kitchen.
Dan Pivovar — Onalaska, WI
Dad, actor and now baker, Dan is a man of many talents. He’s passionate about pastry prep and ready to make a splash in the competition (while making a dad joke or two along the way).
Mike Yu — Napa, CA
Bread head and coordinator at The Culinary Institute of America says, “My passion baking and pastry, my goal in life is to serve others through my passion”. He’s ready to put a sinister twist on his baked goods to outdo the competition in the Halloween Baking Championship kitchen.
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