About the Host & Judges
Jonathan Bennett Before his breakout role as Aaron Samuels in the hit movie Mean Girls, Jonathan Bennett launched his career on the small screen. After getting his start starring in the Emmy Award-winning series All My Children, Jonathan appeared on Law & Order: SVU, Smallville and Veronica Mars. In addition to his work on television, he has starred in many leading motion pictures, including Love Wrecked, The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning, Cheaper by the Dozen and National Lampoon's Van Wilder: Freshman Year. He added executive producer to his resume with the films Authors Anonymous, Pawn and Submerged, in which he also starred. Recently he garnered national attention as a competitor on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, where he won "Fan Favorite." Jonathan currently serves as host of the Food Network series Cake Wars.
Charles Phoenix is the ambassador of Americana. He is a showman, tour guide, food crafter, and author known for his live comedy slideshow performances, madcap Test Kitchen videos, “field trip” adventure tours and colorful coffee table books, all celebrating classic and kitschy American life and style.
The Charles Phoenix Test Kitchen “puts the kitsch in kitchen,” with festive, eye-popping, original recipes made with classic American brand-name products. Among his crazy cakes, meatloaf sculptures and other crafty culinary creations is the jaw-dropping Cherpumple, a three-layer cake with a pie baked into each layer: cherry, pumpkin and apple. Frosty the Cheeseball Man, sculpted in Velveeta, entertains party guests by melting into cheesy queso dip, and the Astro-Weenie Christmas Tree is the ultimate edible holiday centerpiece.
Charles appears this season as a judge on Cake Wars: Christmas. He’s also guested on Storage Wars, Conan, Queen Latifah and Martha Stewart, and he is often heard on National Public Radio. Los Angeles Times said, “Call him the King of Retro.” And LA Weekly anointed him the “Kodachrome King.”
A Brooklyn native, Sherry Yard began her culinary career at the venerable Rainbow Room. She lived and cooked in London, then returned to New York City to work the stoves at Montrachet and Tribeca Grill. She moved west to San Francisco, establishing herself as a prominent pastry chef at celebrated Campton Place. Wolfgang Puck summoned her to Los Angeles, where she became the executive pastry chef and partner for his worldwide operations. For 20 years her innovative dishes and desserts were a staple at the Academy Awards Governor's Ball, the Grammy Awards and the Emmy Awards. Working with Wolfgang, she produced segments for his Emmy Award-winning cooking show, and later she was tapped by Magical Elves Production Company for the role of executive culinary producer for Top Chef: Just Desserts.
Sherry serves as vice president of culinary development for iPic Entertainment Group, where she leads culinary innovation. In 2014 she brought her first concept restaurant, City Perch Kitchen + Bar — a seasonal American dining room — to Bethesda, Md. This local restaurant celebrates the bounty of the Mid-Atlantic, sourcing ingredients from nearby farms and waters. Next up, The Tuck Room gastro-lounge is slated for openings in Miami, Houston and New York. This cocktail-driven restaurant will showcase a progressive menu of small indulgent bites as well as shareable social plates.
In 2016 Sherry will revive the Los Angeles icon Helms Bakery as chef and owner. Helms will be revitalized into a multispace operation, with an exceptional bakery, as well as various vignettes to cater to all hungry diners.
Throughout her career, Sherry has earned the praise of her critics and peers with multiple accolades, including three James Beard Awards for the Foundation’s prestigious hall of fame: Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America for her significant contributions to the culinary profession, Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year and Best Baking Book.
Sherry serves on the board of numerous philanthropic organizations and is a driving force of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). She is involved in fundraising efforts for the Women's Cancer Research Center, Special Olympics, American Cancer Society and Citymeals.