Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Next Great Baker : Kendra Jordan

 *(photo from the cake boss fanpage at facebook)

Here at Cupcakes & Cookies Oh My! we've been watching The Next Great Baker hosted by Buddy Valastro from the famed show The Cake Boss. You can catch the show on Monday nights on the TLC channel.  We love to watch Buddy Valastro's amazing skills as he puts together cakes that blow your mind on The Cake Boss.  He has an amazing talent and if your in the Hoboken, New Jersey area stop on by his bakery to taste his amazing treats!  Carlo's Bakery has been around for generations so they must be doing something right!

From the moment Buddy announced he had a new show coming out called The Next Great Baker - we were hooked.  He took ten bakers and gave them the chance to rock out their best baking skills. Who ever wins this show gets a cash prize and a chance to work side by side with Buddy himself at Carlo's. Now that's pretty fantastic.

We had the chance to interview contestant Kendra Jordan this past week and we are very grateful for her time. 

Kendra Jordan image *(Photo from The Next Great Baker facebook fan page)

Kendra Jordan is from  Emporia, Va and she's a talented baker!  Check out her website at  KeShaJo Bakes I personally think the Skittles cake is amazing!  Also check her out on  KeShajo Bakes (Kendra Jordan) located on facebook.

Check out our interview................

How did you find out about the show The Next Great Baker?
A friend of mine let me know about it through a Craigslist's casting call advertisement.  I was totally apprehensive to apply, considering my novice experience. I've been baking for a while, but at the time I had only been decorating cakes for six months.  I sent the application and immediately told myself, '"okay Kendra, that was fun...now wait for the rejection!"

Some views wanted to know what the kitchen environment was really like? Hot & humid or really cold?
Oh man...walking in there the first time, I'm like in heaven.  From baking in your home kitchen, it was like being in kitchen heaven! Now once the cameras starting rolling, it was a whole different ball game! I mean once those ovens were going and human body temperatures rose, it could draw a few sweat beads.  I think Brian sweated more than anyone else, though! LOL!

Was there enough room in the kitchen to work in or was it really cramped like they made it out to be on the show?
I'm all about space, and the lack of it was quite mind-boggling.  Of course at ten contestants you're bumping elbows and into people...and as many of us were "box-trucked" that cut down significantly!  I did dislike the fact that space was so limited!

Was baking on the show stressful with the time counting down?
For me it definitely was.  Baking was constraining when there are only a few ovens to cook out of and there are ten of us using them.  Then cake decorating is definitely in relation to your prep time...so if you're waiting for an oven or a mixer...the timer certainly doesn't care!

Are there any skills you learned from the show that you took home with you?
Lots of skills...Time management being one!  Also...how to use a sheeter! LOL!

Is there a part of the show that you would go back and do over?
Of course!  There were a lot of things that were edited out...but I do believe more of my personality could have been shown and the fact that I am a great cake designer.  People tend to think that all that you are is what they see for one fraction of your life.  But honestly, pulling a sentence from a book is not a consensus of the author!  You have to read the whole thing to come to understand the author! Right?

Has business picked up since you were on the show?
Oh yes! And I'm wiping my brows because of it!

What cake flavor is your favorite?
Sweet Potato.

What's your favorite cake to date that you've made so far?
Everyone loves my Red Velvet cake!

Do you like to make a certain style of cake over another one? For example wedding cakes over birthday cakes?
You know at first I was so apprehensive to do wedding cakes (cue the bridezilla), so I was more willing to make celebration cakes.  But since the show I made my first wedding cake and I was pleased to feel a sense of calm when making it.  It's a lot easier to make and there's more money involved, which is always great!

Do you have any advice for people who want to go on a reality baking show like The Next Great Baker?
It's more than a baking competition.  It's still television and there are some elements that are emphasized more than others.  Just because you think you can do it at home, doesn't mean you're able to endure many pressures, plus cameras at every angle of your being...place yourself in an environment where there are limited numbers of resources to you that are conveniently available in your baking environment.  Coupled with personalities that may not be as accommodating as the ones you work with on a day-to-day basis...you may feel like the levees will break!

I had to swallow a bitter pill upon my exit...I came into the competition with an entirely different mind set and from a different walk of life.  I got into cake decorating December of 2009 as artistic therapy.  The vicissitudes of life had really gotten me down and as convention would have it, I always invest my problems into artistic expression.  I took one Wilton Cake class course and the rest is some where in cake batter history! Cake decorating for me was different ...it was a way to cope with a broken heart.  Walking onto the set, I was still in disbelief as to how it all came to be.  It's life and God certainly works in mysterious ways.  I was always a fan of Buddy Valastro and the Cake Boss television show.  Last year on my birthday, I had surgery and while recuperating in my hospital room, TLC aired a Cake Boss marathon.  I watched each show.  And this year, another birthday comes and I'm watching myself on the opening credits?!! Dolce vita!
I was a little broken hearted about how it all panned out on television.  But I will say I'm a firm believer that any thing can work out for the good.  I still design cakes, but I don't design to get my ego stroked...I do it, because it plants some of sort of seed of goodness in humanity.  Every cake brings a smile, even before it's been tasted.  And for me, while creating, it makes me forget about all the problems and obstacles I've had to endure.  I can honestly say that this experience has been life-changing and one that placed some great people into my life.  Everything I did from birth to adolescence to young adulthood to September 2010, got me on TLC's Next Great Baker.  Ultimately, I have no regrets...because evidently, bad or good, they were the perfect ingredients to create a sweet opportunity of a lifetime!

We also want to feature Allyson Jane who makes amazing desserts! Allyson is located in the Seattle, WA area and you can email her at ally@allysonjane.com  Check out her fan page on facebook at Allyson Jane and flip through the pictures!  She has these amazing cookies that just blow me away! She's always coming out with new designs. Check out a few pictures of her amazing work!

 She's not just a cookie gal but she also puts together some great cakes and cupcakes! Check out her great website at Allyson Jane to place orders.

Thanks for stopping by our blog today and keep your eye out for more great interviews coming soon! 

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