Local boy to appear on popular baking show on Food Network this month
SUGAR CITY — A local boy took his baking talents to Hollywood over the summer to compete for a chance to earn a sweet grand prize.
Sugar City local Keaton Ashton, 12, was one of a dozen contestants selected to be on the Kids Baking Championship — a competitive television show for young bakers — on the Food Network. He spent the summer filming the 10-week competition that is set to air at the end of the year. Contestants are eliminated on a weekly basis, and only one is named the winner and receives $25,000, a spot in Food Network Magazine and the title of Kids Baking Champion.
“It was a really fun experience. We were in California for a little over a month, filming every day,” he told EastIdahoNews.com. “It was such a cool experience.”
For Ashton’s 11th birthday, his mom took him to a cake class and after that, his love for baking took off. In Aug. 2019, not long after Ashton started baking, he sent a video of himself showing off his baking skills to the Food Network. Less than a year later, in March 2020, he received an email from the company saying that he was one of about 100 kids being considered for the show.
“We had to go through like boot camp while we were baking things on Zoom (in front of people),” he explained. “And they’d slowly cut down kids to the 12.”
While at times it can be stressful to bake for people on the spot, Ashton’s confidence in his abilities outweighs the nerves.
On the season premiere, hosts Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman ask the contestants to use their brushstroke decorating skills to create colorful and delicious brushstroke mini cheesecakes.
“It was a fun challenge and it was hard,” Ashton recalls. “We all got a flavor and then we had to make cheesecakes with that.”
A new element that’s been added to the series for the upcoming season nine has to do with the baker’s parents being there reacting to every twist and turn of the competition, according to a Food Network news release.
“Kids Baking Championship has become a family-favorite showcasing mini bakers with major skills, and now the bakers’ families are included on the new season,” Courtney White, President of Food Network said in a news release. “The bakers’ parent’s reactions from backstage add a new element of excitement to this action-packed competition.”
Ashton can’t give away too much information and spoil the results for viewers, but he said he enjoyed the opportunity he had to meet the judges and other kids who share the same passion as him.
One day, Ashton hopes to turn his love for baking into a store where he can sell his deserts. In the meantime, he’ll continue to chase his dream and he encourages others to do the same.
“Even though when you start, you might not be the best, keep going with it and have fun,” he said.
The first two episodes of the Kids Baking Championship will air on Food Network Dec. 28 beginning at 7 p.m. The season wraps up Feb. 15.
More of Ashton’s desert creations can be viewed by clicking here.