By Gregory J. Lamoureux
ST. ALBANS: Adam Monette typically spends his days sharing his craft with students at Northwest Technical and Career Center in St. Albans but he recently took on a new adventure with an appearance on the newest season of Holiday Baking Championship.
Monette will appear in the season 8 premiere, which airs on November 1st at 8 pm, and it’s titled ‘Fall into Winter.’ The second episode of the season, set to air the following week, is named ‘Yule Be Merry.’
The competition kicks off as host Jesse Palmer asks the twelve bakers to embrace the seasonal transition by making fall and winter doughnuts, according to Food Network. For the main heat, the competitors combine holiday cheese board staples in creative apple and cheese desserts.
The two-hour season premiere will have two of the twelve competitors ousted, but we’re not allowed to know at this time if Monette is one of them.
The episode “kicks off with a surprise new rule that puts the competition into high gear,” said a representative from Food Network.
Monette, who has been spending time in the kitchen since he was in his teens, took a non-traditional approach as he established his career crafting fine food and eventually earning his Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts. A decade ago, Monette began teaching the Culinary Arts program at Northwest Tech Center, where he has seen dozens of successful chefs work their way through his kitchen.
When he got the call from Food Network asking if he would be interested in being on the show, he thought it was spam.
“I did a little research and found out it may not have been,” Monette said. Soon after that call, he received a message from a former student who told Monette that he nominated his former teacher for the show.
The 11 other competitors include Richard, a pastry chef from Dorchester, MA; Sabrina, an executive chef at a hotel in Atlanta; Philippe, a home baker who aspires to open his own bakery; Shayla, a pastry chef and owner of a small sweets shop in Florida; Neomie, the head pastry chef for a catering company in Philadelphia; Jennifer, a dietician; Grace, who originates from the Philippines and was trained as a French chocolatier; Jose, a Puerto Rico inspired baker; Naomi, who runs a bakery out of her Texas home; Jody, a pastry instructor at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, MA; and Marilyn, a pastry chef for more than 30 years.
Monette was limited as to how much he could talk about being on the show, but said he felt like the other competitors had much larger personalities, and noted that many of those people have become friends.
Case in point, Jody, who is also a culinary instructor, is working with Monette on future projects where they will collaborate between both their programs.
“It’s a band-of-brothers type of mentality,” Monette said, “we all share this collective experience, so it helps build mutual respect.”
Monette, who spends his summers working in different restaurant kitchens, admitted that might have given him a bit of an advantage in a competition.
The competitors are angling to win the grand prize of $25,000, a feature in Food Network’s magazine, and the bragging rights to be crowned the Holiday Baking Champion.
Monette said he isn’t completely sure what he will spend the money on if he wins, but will probably use it for family, and provide for one of the best Christmases ever, after all, it is the Holiday Baking Championship.
We’ll all be watching to see how Monette does in the next two months, but regardless of the outcome, he said it’s possible that he would appear in a future season of this show or another Food Network show.
If you don’t get Food Network, you can stream the show at https://tinyurl.com/watchfoodnet.