The Commercial Appeal

Memphis baker eliminated on Food Network competitio­n

- Jennifer Chandler

Easter bonnets and geometric tarts were the challenges that Memphis bakery owner Rachel Mullen faced on Monday night’s episode of Food Network’s “Spring Baking Championsh­ip: Easter.”

Known for her intricate piping work and vibrant colored treats she makes at her Downtown bakery, Primas Bakery + Boutique, Mullen was one of eight competitor­s on the show, but unfortunat­ely her run came to an end after Monday’s episode, the second of the new season.

Mullen said she was grateful for the experience. “This was an amazing experience for me,” she said. “I’m naturally introverte­d. I took myself outside my comfort zone and pursued a dream of mine. I’m really grateful to the Food Network for allowing me to share my passion and gifts. I’m looking forward to seeing what the other bakers create next.”

Six bakers from across the country are still vying for the the coveted Golden Easter Egg filled with $25,000.

Titled “Easter: Its Fashion, Bunny,” Episode Two challenges were focused on the latest fashion trends. Here’s a look at how Mullen did in each round.

Round One: Geometric Tarts

In round one, the bakers used popular nail art patterns as inspiratio­n for delicious and vibrant geometric tarts.

Mullen made a tart she calls “Rachel’s Peanut Butter Cup.”

“This Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Tartlet has been on my menu for years. It’s my little brother’s favorite,” she said. “I had to make some adjustment­s to the recipe to make sure it wasn’t too sweet for the judges. I was thrilled when they told me they enjoyed it.”

Round Two: Easter Bonnets

In round two, the bakers had to channel their inner model to make edible and wearable high fashion Easter hats that they modeled on the bunny-walk.

“I was hoping to showcase my piping skills in this episode,” Mullen said. “When the Bonnet Challenge was revealed, I knew I wouldn’t be able to pipe buttercrea­m florals — it would make the hat too heavy and the brim would not hold the weight. Instead, I used a combinatio­n of modeling chocolate and fondant.”

The hat still ended up being super heavy, and she had a difficult time balancing it on the runway.

The final verdict

Unfortunat­ely, Mullen was the baker sent home at the end of the second episode.

“In round two, I was really nervous about my bonnet,” she said. “I didn’t have enough time to cover the imperfecti­ons under my hat. The judges also mentioned that I played it safe with the Lemon Tea Cookie. I had a feeling I would be sent home after I heard their feedback.”

Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at jennifer.chandler@commercial­ and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjenni­fer.

 ?? PROVIDED BY THE BEAUTY SHOP ?? Shea Grauer at The Beauty Shop restaurant in Memphis.
PROVIDED BY THE BEAUTY SHOP Shea Grauer at The Beauty Shop restaurant in Memphis.
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 ?? ?? Mullen

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