Locals on TV

Young Austin baker whips up appearance on Food Network competition show

Young Austin baker whips up appearance on Food Network show

Duff Goldman Food Network
Duff Goldman will serve as a mentor. Courtesy of Food Network

A junior baker from Austin will get her shot in the limelight as a contestant on a Food Network baking show. Called Kids Baking Championship, the show premieres on the Food Network at 8 pm January 7 with a dozen young bakers, ranging in age from 9 to 13.

Madison Totaro, an 11-year-old baking prodigy from Austin, is among the contestants.

The youngsters will be tested in dessert challenges such as sugar cookies, mini cheesecakes, macarons, brownies, and blondies with Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman serving as celebrity mentors. The grand prize is $25,000 and a feature in Food Network Magazine.

Food Network president Courtney White says in a release that the young bakers' abilities are "truly remarkable."

"Even the most skilled pastry chefs would crumble under the pressure," White says. Crumble like a cookie. Food metaphors are most effective in press releases such as this.

Throughout the 10-show run, the contestants will craft confections such as freaky flavor tarts using ingredients like jalapeño, goat cheese yuzu, and anise.

On the debut episode, the bakers must serve cupcakes featuring Duff's favorite ingredient, which is bacon. (Urgh, really, Duff?) Each baker must also include an assigned ingredient such as maple, chocolate, peanut, caramel, cinnamon, ginger, or cherry.

Valerie throws a curveball when she requests they add her favorite ingredient, marzipan. At least it's not bacon. Thank you, Valerie.

Totaro is one of three contestants from Texas. She's joined by Gavin Crawford from Pearland and Jaxon Remillard from Mansfield, both of whom are also 11 years old.