Best Baker in America premieres tonight, and fans of the Food Network are curious to learn more about the eight competitors vying for the $25,000 grand prize. Each week, the judges will send one contestant home until a winner is ultimately crowned.
Read on to meet the contestants:
Adalberto Diaz Labrada
Adalberto Diaz Labrada is from Salt Lake City, where he owns the shop “Fillings and Emulsions”. Diaz was a finalist in the Food Network’s 2015 “Holiday Baking Championship”.
Chef Andy Chelbana, a Joliet Junior College chef, won the 2015 “Spring Baking Championship”. Chelbana is a father of four. He’s accumulated many accolades over the course of his baking career: in 2008, he was named American Culinary Federation’s National Pastry Chef of the Year, and in 2013, he was one of Dessert Professional’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America.
Speaking of the show to the Chicago Tribune, Chelebana recently said, “You never know what’s gonna happen. They throw you a lot of curve balls, a lot of challenges. It’s a lot of hard work.”
Mijares owns Délice Chocolatier & Patisserie in San Antonio, and is hoping to take home the grand prize money on Best Baker in America. More than that, she’s honored to have the opportunity to be part of it all. Mijares recently told My San Antonio, “The other competitors are very qualified… I felt so happy and so blessed that they considered me to be on this show.”
Mijares made it to the network’s “Spring Baking Championship” last year, and advanced all the way to the final round.
Booker hails from North Carolina. She is the 2016 Christmas Cookie Challenge champion, and the winner of the Food Network’s Dessert Games earlier this year.
Ingraham is from Oxford, Mississippi. He attended the New England Culinary Institute and then worked at The Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida, before eventually moving to Las Vegas.
Nowadays, Dwayne works as the corporate pastry chef for City Grocery Restaurant Group.
Kallas-Lee is from LA and known for her “experimental” approach to pastry making.
Silva was born and raised in Queens, and in high school, he studied at C-CAP– the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program. During his time there he interned at Fauchon, the famous French epicerie. In 2015, Thiago won Food Network’s Chopped, and donated $10,000 to C-CAP.
Storms hails from San Diego. Last year, Cheryl opened Finn Town, which specializes in cakes, homemade brioche hamburger buns, and bread. She was a competitor on the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship.