Behind the scenes on a reality baking show

women in yellow apron
📷: courtesy of Food Network Canada's The Big Bake: Halloween

SAIT’s Victoria German has a pretty sweet resume. She was the Executive Pastry Chef for the Palliser Hotel, won a silver medal in the Culinary Olympics for Team Manitoba and baked for royalty when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Katherine Middleton, visited Calgary in 2011. She’s also been a Baking and Pastry Arts instructor at SAIT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism for 20 years.

With several milestone moments under her apron already, she recently added another.

Get a taste of German’s experience competing on the Food Network Canada’s The Big Bake: Halloween.

How did you get on the show?

I was asked to be the Team Assistant by Amanda Jones who owns a cake business called Sweetened. She was looking for a third team member and I was it! She follows my Instagram account, Victoria’s Sugarblooms, and liked my experience with fine detail work.

What was it like filming?

It was fast and fun. The timeline was short — we were frantically trying to find the equipment and ingredients.

The camera crew was amazing and worked quickly, appearing out of nowhere with huge cameras — there were some on cranes that would come down from above and catch the action. I have a lot of new respect for the TV industry.

How did you cope under pressure?

I was stressed in the last hour when I looked at our cake and it was nowhere near finished. I just thought, ‘we have to get this done’ and went as fast as I could. It wasn’t the neat detailed work I usually do, but it got finished.

But it was a fun kind of stress, if there is such a thing. It’s a fast timeframe and before you know it, there’s a 10 second countdown to the end.

Victoria German on The Big Bake: Halloween

Does SAIT prepare students for similar situations?

There’s a lot of opportunities at SAIT to compete, including Skills Alberta. Our students are trained to complete numerous tasks with flawless presentation in tight timeframes. They have to perform under pressure for things like a capstone exam. It can be intense but the growth and experience is invaluable.

What advice do you have for aspiring reality baking show competitors?

Go for it! Competitors need to be confident because you’re in an unknown situation and building something you wouldn’t typically create on an average day. It’s a lot of fun.

To be the best, train with the best

Get reality-show ready with SAIT's School of Hospitality and Tourism programs including Baking and Pastry Arts.

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