A local Dothan baker is set to be featured on the new Food Network culinary competition, Next Baking Master: Paris. Brooke De Jong is a part-time pastry chef at KBC.

Jong began baking when she had her first child, and that hobby soon turned into a passion and profession. She is a self-taught and restaurant-trained, skilled pastry chef while living in Atlanta.  Eventually Jong moved to rural Alabama where she and her husband joined his family business as dairy farmers. For a while pastry took a backseat in her life but Jong is back and ready to live out her pastry dreams in Paris.

The eight-episode series premieres on Monday, May 6th at 8pm CT.  Ten American bakers travel to Paris for Food Network’s ultimate pastry competition Next Baking Master: Paris. The eight-episode series premieres Monday, May 6th at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network.

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This show was shot on-location in the City of Lights and hosted by acclaimed pastry chef Stephanie Boswell and French-born chef and restaurateur Ludo Lefebvre, Food Network’s newest culinary competition Next Baking Master: Paris gives ten determined and highly-skilled American bakers exclusive access to the most iconic pastry shops, as well as mentoring from renowned French baking experts.

This series will have competitors proving their tenacity in the pillars of great baking and pastry: technique, artistry, flavor, innovation, and inspiration. Week by week, the lowest performing baker will be sent home until only one is named Next Baking Master.

“As the world’s attention turns to the City of Lights leading up to this summer’s Olympic games, Paris is not only a location in Next Baking Master: Paris, it’s a main character,” said Betsy Ayala, Head of Content, Food, Warner Bros. Discovery. “From walking the banks of the Seine to gain inspiration for romantic chocolate desserts to exploring the Paris farmers’ markets with their bountiful fresh produce, viewers will experience this incredible city though the eyes of our competitors.” 

Competing for bragging rights is a thrill but a winner will receive a full suite of France’s top-of-the-line professional kitchen appliances and baking equipment valued at $25,000. Those competitors are DeAndra Bailey from Baltimore, Maryland, Brooke De Jong from Dothan, Alabama, Jeremy Intille from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lindsay Miller from Los Angeles, California, Keely Moore from Atlanta, Georgia, Paige Nickless from Brooklyn, New York, Joe Settepani from Morganville, New Jersey, Cedrick Simpson from Atlanta, Georgia, Robert Toland from Willingboro, New Jersey and Jennalyn Walbolt from Union, New Jersey.

“This Paris experience is a once-in-a-lifetime dream for the chefs,” said Boswell. “As a professional pastry chef, I know the inspiration they received by visiting the city’s most renowned patisseries and meeting the supremely talented experts was life-changing for these up-and-comers.” 

Added Lefebvre, “Though my culinary career and restaurants brought me to the United States more than 20 years ago, I was born, raised and grew up as a chef in France. It’s so cool to now welcome these competitors to Paris to live and breathe the amazing baking and pastry culture the city offers – it’s the best in the world. I am so excited.”

In the 90-minute premiere, the bakers arrive in Paris for their first challenge: make a dessert that represents their culinary point of view, while demonstrating their knowledge of French techniques. 

After this challenge the bakers are then whisked away on a field trip to the Royal Monceau Hotel to meet pastry chef Quentin Lechat, sample his delicacies and learn about a fundamental French ingredient: cream.

Then it’s back to the kitchen, where they must use both technique and innovation as they create one showstopping cake that features two uses of cream to determine who will be named the crème de la crème.

One episode will showcase a trip to famed Jade Genin Chocolate with a lesson from Jade herself, a quintessential French soufflé challenge and a trip to Ladurée, the most iconic patisserie in the world.

Fans are encouraged bring the sweet flavors of Paris to their home kitchen by watching the digital companion series hosted by Stephanie Boswell, in which she shares easy, can-do recipes for elegant French desserts. If you are a lover of all things Paris you can keep up on Food Network’s social pages for an exclusive tour of the Paris penthouse where the bakers will be staying. 

For more information you use the hashtag #NextBakingMaster and visit FoodNetwork.com/NextBakingMaster for more.

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