Food Network is getting an early start to summer with a new round of bakers going head-to-head in a baking competition.
“Summer Baking Championship” puts ten bakers to the test, challenging their baking skills on a variety of desserts throughout the season. Hosted by Jesse Palmer, the bakers have to impress the judges, Carla Hall, Duff Goldman, and Damaris Phillips, in order to make it to the next round.
The winner gets to go home with $25,000 and the title of Summer Baking Champion.
“[In the summer], you have Fourth of July, you have all of these other holidays. You have lighter versions of baked goods, it is a different feel in terms of the kitchen during the summer,” said Hall. “When I think about summer, I think about strawberry shortcake, I think about fruit and herbs. I think about peaches because I love peach cobbler. I think about cobblers and things like sort of fruit-forward desserts because of the season and everything that is at the farmers’ market.”
Just like the summer temperatures, the competition is heating up this season. Hall says the challenges this season really reflect the summer season itself, and also give a bit of a leg up to the home cooks that are in the competition this year.
“It’s bringing everybody to the yard and it puts a smile on your face, and I feel like it embodies summer. What I love about these challenges is, home cooks do really well,” said Hall. “Sometimes home cooks are set up to do really, really well because I feel like it’s something that they would make for their family. Sometimes when you are a professional, the baking sort of stops at the job so you can rest at home. You know what I mean? There are certain things that you make as a professional and there are certain things that you would make as a home cook, and I love the challenges where home cooks shine.”
Having been on both sides as a judge on past “Baking Champion” seasons and having competed on “Iron Chef,” Hall tries to be as constructive as she can when she judges these baking shows. I’m hoping to make sure they have a really great experience.”
“I have to get into this headspace of, I want to be a fair judge and I want to be constructive. I’m hoping to help the baker grow, whether they do this all the time or whether they’re new at baking,” said Hall. “I’m hoping to make sure they have a really great experience.”
Hall is hoping that viewers who tune in will take inspiration from this season’s bakers and try something out in their own kitchens.
“I’m looking forward to them being inspired by all of the things that the bakers do and being able to go out and [bake] in the summertime, like making a cake, making something that is quick and fun and delicious for your family,” said Hall. “The other thing I’m hoping is that they’re gonna learn a new twist or a new take or a new flavor profile that they can try at home. I’m hoping they will challenge themselves, but more than anything I’m hoping that they’re gonna spend Monday nights with us drooling over the things that we, the judges, are actually eating.”
“Summer Baking Championship” premieres on Monday, May 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network and discovery+ with two back-to-back episodes.