By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
The 8th season of Kids Baking Championship airs Monday on Food Network – and it features Reggie Strom, a 12-year-old from Bend.
“You just kinda walk into the kitchen for the first time, and you have no idea what’s going to happen,” Reggie said.
For Reggie, what started as a hobby turned into a rare opportunity – going to Los Angeles and baking in front of celebrity judges Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli.
“No matter how far I made it, it was still an amazing experience getting to go down there and meet the professionals, and just see how everything works.” he said.
The first time Strom applied to be on the show, he didn’t make it.
So once he got his shot, he made sure he was prepared.
“It was non-stop baking,” he said. “Our water bill actually increased 40% that month of what it normally does from dish washing. Because there were so many dishes that had to be washed.”
Strom has had an interest in baking for years.
But that interest turned into a passion after taking classes at Kindred Creative Kitchen.
“He’s got a set of skills that not a lot of people have. And I know that because I’ve worked with a lot of pastry people,” said Michele Morris, owner of Kindred Kitchen. “I just hope that they recognize the skills that he has because they’re a little different than the traditional skills of cake decorating and things like that.”
Reggie has had to keep the competition confidential for months. Although he’s happy the secret is out. he says we’ll have to watch and see how far he made it.
At stake: $25,000 and a feature in Food Network Magazine.
Beyond the money, Reggie called it a great learning experience and encouraged other kids with a love for baking to take a chance and apply.
“If you’re considering trying out, I would just go for it. I mean there’s no harm, it’s a few days of work. I would say it’s definitely worth it. I mean it’s an amazing experience,” he said.
“Kids Baking Championship” airs Monday at 9 p.m. on the Food Network.