Two self-taught Ascension Parish bakers, pastry bags at the ready, are headed to battle.
Kelly Williams, of Geismar, assisted by Holly Sigur Broussard, a new resident of Prairieville, will compete on Food Network’s “Cake Wars” Monday night.
In the competition series, four teams of expert bakers vie to see whose cake creation will be the centerpiece at a large-scale event, and go home with the $10,000 prize.
Williams, who’s been baking cakes since middle school, said he hadn’t seen “Cake Wars” until friends kept telling him he should apply for the show.
“So I sat down and watched it one night, and then sent them (the network) some pictures of cakes I’ve done,” Williams said.
Three months later, Food Network contacted him about going to Los Angeles (his first plane ride) to shoot an episode.
“It was really exciting. I didn’t know what to expect,” Williams, 34, said of being in the “Food Wars” kitchen. “I had the time of my life. It was something I thought I’d never have the opportunity to do.”
The operator of Kelly Kaxe, 34, is used to deadlines. He has several cake orders to complete this weekend.
But the “Cake Wars” deadlines are even tighter.
“For the big challenge, you only have four hours; the first one you only have 75 minutes,” Williams said.
After that first 75-minute challenge, one team is eliminated and those remaining tackle the four-hour round. From them, the winner is chosen and their cake is presented at the big event in Santa Rosa, Calif. Each episode has a theme keyed to the celebration, in Monday’s case, the 50th anniversary of the iconic TV special “Charlie Brown’s All-Stars,” which predates the Peanuts cartoon specials still airing year after year.
“We had a little time to research the theme,” Broussard, 24, said. “It was centered on the hijinx of Peanuts, kind of all the fun that went on there.”
Broussard, who started Sweet Elizabeth Cakes in 2011, said she’s always wanted to be on Food Network, and is a loyal “Cake Wars” fan.
“Actually, every Monday it’s kind of a tradition in our house that my husband (Blake) and my 5-year-old (Peyton Elizabeth), we all sit around and watch ‘Cake Wars’, so it was very surreal to actually be on set.”
Adding to the excitement was having Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz’s granddaughter, Lindsey Schulz, as the celebrity judge.
“It was a fun, fast-paced and exciting adventure,” Broussard said.
And with one Food Network competition under his belt, Williams will be looking for more. “You get an itch for it,” he said. “Once you start, it’s kind of addictive.”