Stephan Baity Takes Culinary Talents to Food Network
November 12, 2015
By Jaime Eyssen
ALLIANCE, Ohio – Stephan Baity, resident director of culinary services at the University of Mount Union, carves his way onto the Food Network in a special holiday inspired season of Cake Wars.
“Cake Wars: Christmas” will air for six weeks at 9 p.m. on Mondays on the Food Network. The competition began with seven teams who will participate in two different cake-decorating challenges per episode. One team is eliminated each show until the last two battle for the grand prize on December 14. The teams started off the season on a “Frozen” note this past Monday during the premiere.
Baity, a resident of Akron, Ohio, and 1988 graduate of Canton McKinley High School, described getting recommended for Cake Wars as a bit of good karma. For some time, Baity has avidly followed the work of James Parker, renowned fruit and vegetable carver. Baity recently had the opportunity to work with Parker and later, when the Food Network asked Parker for recommendations of a fruit carver, he knew just the person.
“He let me know that he liked my style and had a show that he had recommended me for,” Baity said.
After that, everything fell into place. Baity was interviewed and then placed on a team with two other people – a cake artist and sugar sculptor. It was then that Baity quickly realized the important role teamwork played in the show.
“The show wasn’t just about fruit and vegetable carving. It was a team activity where everyone worked together for a common purpose,” he said.
In addition to learning how to work together efficiently on the show, Baity and his teammates, Beth Townsend and Frederick “Froggy” Isla, formed close bonds during their time together filming.
“I know I met friends that I will have for the rest of my life,” Baity said. “I never would have met them if it wasn’t for the show.”
Another thing that Baity credits for his great experience on the show is being surrounded people who also love what they are doing.
“It’s one thing to just have a job and collect a pay check,” Baity said. “But everyone on the show is passionate about their craft and wants to show the world.”
The passion Baity has for his work began in grade school when he would cook for his friend who had cancer. His passion grew even more in high school when he began taking food service classes. In those classes, his teacher mentored him and helped him move his culinary career in the right direction.
“The rest is history,” Baity said. “I fell in love with it.”
For Baity, being on Cake Wars is just where his busy schedule begins. In addition to being resident director of culinary services at Mount Union, Baity has his own food sculpting brand, Graffiti Carving. Baity has also had the opportunity to travel the country and enter in various fruit and vegetable carving competitions. In addition, he and his wife just recently celebrated the birth of their third child.
“I want to leave a legacy for my kids to look back on,” Baity said. “I do it for my kids.”
Baity described being on Cake Wars as an experience of a lifetime.
“It’s a surreal, pinch yourself kind of moment,” Baity said. “At age 35, I am living the dream.”
UPDATE: On Monday, December 14, Baity and his team competed for first place in the season finale of Cake Wars: Christmas and his team, the "Jack Frosters," won the competition, splitting $50,000 among the three of them.
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Alliance Review Article: UMU Chef wins Food Network's 'Cake Wars: Christmas'