One of Kentucky’s own has been crowned “Best Baker in America.”
Last night, Jackie Joseph, a native of Prestonsburg and former pastry chef at The Brown Hotel and Omni Hotel in Louisville, won season four of the Food Network’s baking competition show, beating out two other finalists to take home the $25,000 grand prize. Her two-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed cake featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work was enough for host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith (a fellow Kentuckian who won “Food Network Star”) to put her over the top.
Joseph’s family and friends held a watch party for the finale at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, erupting in cheers when she was announced the winner:
After a rough year, Joseph told the Courier-Journal the opportunity to represent and honor her hometown was especially sweet.
“I lost my job at the Omni because of the pandemic so I hadn’t been in the kitchen for almost a year, which meant going into the competition I wasn’t tired or overworked,” Joseph said. “So instead I was able to really let my love of baking and what I have learned growing up in Prestonsburg (Kentucky) show in my work.”
Joseph told the CJ she plans to launch her own bakery business, JJBakes & Co. INC, soon, specializing in wedding cakes, specialty cakes, and custom desserts. For more information, keep an eye on her social media (Instagram, Facebook).
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