Carlsbad pastry chef to compete in Food Network’s ‘Spring Baking Championship’

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When the pandemic hit in mid-March 2020, Alexis Wells was laid off from her job as a part-time pastry chef at the Omni La Costa Resort. But the job loss would come as a blessing in disguise for the 25-year-old Carlsbad resident.

Almost immediately, Wells landed a full-time chef and manager position at a gourmet bakery in Carlsbad. She then launched two new independent bakery businesses. And finally, she earned herself a spot on Food Network’s “Spring Baking Championship” competition series, which returns for its eighth season on February 28.

Wells said that despite the pandemic, the past two years have become an important period of personal development for her long-term career dream, which is to own a Michelin-starred plated dessert restaurant.

But in the meantime, she can’t wait to tune in next weekend to watch “Spring Baking Championship.” She’s not allowed to say how she fared in the 10-episode series, but she said just being part of the show made her feel like a winner.

“It was very exciting and such a great time to be there,” Wells said of the series, which recently wrapped filming in Tennessee. “I met 12 amazing pastry chefs from all over the US and they were all at so many skill levels.”

Wells was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, where she said she knew from the age of 4 that she wanted to work in the kitchen. Her great-grandmother owned bakeries and both her parents are entrepreneurs. So she started planning her future dessert business. After high school, she moved to San Diego to attend culinary school on a scholarship from the San Diego Art Institute, where she earned a certificate in baking and pastry and a bachelor’s degree in culinary management. After graduating, she joined the staff at the Omni Complex, where she was trained by Executive Pastry Chef Keith Wallace. He mentored Wells in creating intricately designed French-style plated desserts with just a few components.

In January 2020, she began splitting her time at Omni and doing menu consulting for other businesses, including The Goods Bakehouse, a 5-year-old donut and croissant bakery and cafe in Carlsbad Village. When she was fired from Omni, the family that owns The Goods offered her a full-time job. Today, she is executive chef and boutique manager, overseeing a team of bakers, decorators, baristas and servers. She said the shop is known for its gourmet donuts and brightly colored seasonal croissants.

When she was in culinary school, Wells said she started entering baking competitions around the country to hone her skills. In the years that followed, she competed in almost 30 competitions and claimed to have won a medal in 12 of them. She said she has a naturally competitive nature and thrives on challenges.

“I did so many competitive things in my life when I was younger like bodybuilding, gymnastics and cheerleading. It was my release when I wasn’t in the kitchen. work ethic and by being very competitive and always trying to be better,” she said.

Wells said she has been a fan of the television series “Baking Championship” for many years and has long followed the careers of the show’s judges and host. Last year, she felt confident she was ready to audition for her first network TV competition show. The audition process included making a cake and plated dessert for the audition panel to prove their skills. Her audition pieces were a vanilla sponge and chocolate brownie cake decorated like a hot air balloon and a plated dessert made with ingredients such as lemon zest and turmeric.

Alexis Wells, 25, of Carlsbad on the set of the Food Network series ‘Spring Baking Championship’. She is participating in the eighth season of the show, which will premiere on February 28, 2022.

(Rob Pryce/Food Network)

Wells said the experience of filming the series was thrilling and exhausting. To stay alert and focused, she and a fellow baker would get up at 4:30 a.m. for a three-mile run to start their day. The pressure on set was intense, but Wells said she managed her nerves by staying focused on tasks. Among the spring-themed competitions bakers will face this season are making a floral cake, fruit pies that reflect their personalities and a variation of Mardi Gras King Cake.

Wells said one of her favorite experiences was meeting show judge Duff Goldman, star of the cooking series “Ace of Cakes.”

“I grew up watching ‘Ace of Cakes,’ so I was super happy when I met Duff. He’s quite an interesting man,” she said.

In addition to working at The Goods, Wells also runs her own private baking business, Desserts by Alexis, and she and a friend recently started a party event business Taste & Paint, where ticket buyers paint pre-made canvases. – sketch and eat three different desserts and hors d’oeuvres that Wells prepares. Monthly events are held at the 5th and Sky Roof Top Lounge in downtown San Diego.

“Spring Baking Championship” will premiere at 8 p.m. on February 28 on Food Network and the Discovery+ streaming platform.

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