Fil-Am pastry chef competing in Food Network’s ‘Best Baker in America’
LOS ANGELES — Filipino American pastry consultant Jeffrey De Leon got a “nice call out of the blue” from producers of the third season of the Food Network series asking him to be part of the show. De Leon, 38, “thought it would be a fun experience.”
The weekly series, which premiered May 13 on the Food Network with 9 professional bakers, pushes contestants “outside their comfort zone to whip up beautiful and delicious baked goods” for $25,000 and the coveted title of “Best Baker in America,” Courtney White, the network’s president, explained in a press release.
“For the show, they give you challenges where one day it might be cakes, one day it might be desserts, one day it might be something else, and so you really have to pull from every little pocket of experience to pull through,” he told the LA Daily News.
De Leon, the eldest of two sons of a Midwesterner mom and Filipino dad, and grew up in Mission Viejo, California. He found his love of cooking when he took a job at the now-defunct Tortilla Flats restaurant on Lake Mission Viejo.
He has traveled for different competitions, including as part of the three-person Team USA at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in France in 2016. De Leon’s specialties in the competition were croissants, danishes and brioche doughs.