Baker by W. Hempstead wins on Food Network | Herald Community Newspapers | Wender Mind Kids

 Baker by W. Hempstead wins on Food Network |  Herald Community Newspapers

Sydney Perry, owner of Sydney’s Sweets in West Hempstead, won the Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship: Easter series and the $25,000 first prize.

“Overall the experience was exciting,” said Perry. “It was a bit stressful, but a lot of fun.”

The show’s second season, which premiered on February 28, was a competition among eight bakers who used their imagination and skill in multiple baking challenges to create unique sweets. Food Network judges Jordan Andino and Stephanie Boswell served as the judges. The last episode aired on April 4th.

“This season’s spectacularly talented bakers are creating some of the most stunning edible creations the Food Network has ever seen,” hostess Sunny Anderson said in a press release.

There were up to two challenges in each of the six episodes, and the judges decided which baker went home in each episode. Contestants competed for the Golden Easter Egg filled with “Bunny Money,” a prize of $25,000.

A Food Network casting director contacted Perry last May, and three months later she performed at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City. The entire recording process took nearly two weeks, with days lasting up to eight hours.

The most difficult round for Perry was the last episode. Not only was her cake four feet tall, but she had to re-bake it twice after a few mishaps: it got stuck in its pan and a newly-baked version rolled off the counter.

“I thought I was going to have a meltdown right there, but I did it and baked the cake for the third time,” Perry said. “And you know, it all worked out in the end, but it was so stressful.”

In the fourth episode, her favorite episode, she made an edible sash — covered in three-dimensional chocolate eggs and rainbow-hued pastel fondant flowers — and a crown to wear on a runway. Her theme was “EGGstravagant Queen”.

“That was the episode where I finally got into my groove and started decorating items like I would make them at the bakery,” Perry said. “I’ve started to bring my own personal style – and it’s been a lot of fun walking the runway.”

When the competition came down to the final three bakers in Episode Six, Perry was surprised to find out she had won. “They said my name and I hesitated for a second,” she said. “I thought, wait a minute, did you say my name? I was super surprised and excited – I was at a loss for words for a moment.”

“I told Sydney I knew she was going to win,” said her husband Jermaine.

The $25,000 will go toward new bakery equipment, a family vacation, savings for the Perrys’ son, Cameron, 8, and future small business needs, they said. The family had to keep the results under wraps until the entire series aired. For all the emotions that come with winning, the family was “relieved” to celebrate the win, Jermaine said. “I find [we’re] mostly just glad it’s out and no longer something we have to hold on to,” he said.

The couple are also proud that Cameron managed to keep the secret. “He always caught himself when he knew he was talking too much — he never gave the beans away,” Jermaine said. As soon as the final episode aired, Cameron made an announcement to his third grade class at Stewart Manor Elementary School in Garden City.

“When he saw the final, he screamed and cheered and hugged himself [his mother] and it was just the cutest moment,” said Jermaine. “As a parent, it means so much to make your kids proud and let them know they can be and be and do anything.”

Since the finale aired last week, Sydney’s Sweets has garnered nearly 1,000 Instagram followers, with more people from West Hempstead and across Long Island tuning in.

“More and more people are coming in and they’re like, oh I saw you on the Food Network and I didn’t know you were right with us,” Sydney said. “People who haven’t been around in a long time have seen it and are coming back — that’s really great.” The bakery “expects a big rush this weekend,” Jermaine said.

And in response to many customer requests, the chocolate coffee liqueur cake his wife baked in Episode Six is ​​now being added to the menu at Sydney’s Sweets.